Apple Debuts Its Rapid Response Security Update Approach

Smaller fixes deliver quick improvements for iPhones, iPads, and iMacs between software updates.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

May 2, 2023

1 Min Read
Apple retail store exterior in New York City
Source: Clarence Holmes Photography via Alamy Stock Photo

Apple rolled out the first of its kind Rapid Security Response update — quick fixes automatically installed on iPhones, iPads, and iMacs in-between software updates.

On May 1, devices with default settings were updated with iOS 16.4.1, iPadOS 16.4.1, or macOS Ventura 13.3.1, according to the company's notice to users, which contained few details. Rapid Response fixes are designated with a letter after the software version software number, Apple added — macOS 13.3.1 (a) will be listed on updated Macs, for instance.

The automatic Rapid Security Response updates can be disabled in the device settings, the company said. The updates come just weeks after a pair of Apple zero-days were under active exploit in the wild.

"They deliver important security improvements between software updates — for example, improvements to the Safari Web browser, the WebKit framework stack, or other critical system libraries," Apple's notice explained about its Rapid Security Responses. "They may also be used to mitigate some security issues more quickly, such as issues that may have been exploited or reported to exist."

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Dark Reading Staff

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