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iOS 6 Users Left In The Lurch After Security Flaw Discovered

Still using Apple's iOS 6? You may be counting on luck to protect your iPhone from a serious security flaw.
Michael Nagle
Getty Images
Still using Apple's iOS 6? You may be counting on luck to protect your iPhone from a serious security flaw.

As has been widely reported, Apple recently discovered a critical bug in its iOS and OS systems. The security flaw made users of its computers and mobile devices vulnerable to attackers that might want to intercept sensitive information sent during banking sessions, email and other communications while on a public Wi-Fi network.

Unfortunately, the security fix won't help you if you are one of those people who haven't updated from iOS 6 to iOS 7. According to reports from the company, that's about 15 percent of all Apple mobile devices. (About 82 percent of Apple mobile devices are using iOS 7.)

Many people have chosen not to update their iPhones or iPads if they have older devices because of stories about iOS 7 slowing down the iPhone 4 and 4s or shortening the battery life. Since Apple isn't offering a fix for iOS 6, those customers will either have to upgrade and risk having their phones work at less than their best or they will have to be very careful if they use their phone on a public Wi-Fi network.

The security flaw can affect anyone using Wi-Fi in, say, a coffee shop or an airport. A hacker using the same network could intercept communications on Apple devices on the same network.

Apple first issued a security fix for its iOS 7 for mobile devices and then later added a fix for its OS X computer operating system. Apple is being criticized for not sending out more information to its customers on how to protect against the vulnerability.

In a statement about the security update, Apple said: "For the protection of our customers, Apple does not disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until a full investigation has occurred and any necessary patches or releases are available."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Laura Sydell
Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and
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