iPhone 2.0 includes critical security fixes

iPhone 2.0 software fixes some bugs in previous-generation iPhone

Apple fans who bought their iPhones before Friday's splashy iPhone 3G rollout have a new reason to upgrade their software: It's buggy.

Apple disclosed Friday that the iPhone 2.0 software, which can be downloaded by users of the previous-generation iPhone, fixes some bugs in the browser and networking software in that earlier device. Some of the browser bugs are serious and could give attackers a way to sneak malicious software onto the iPhone.

The update fixes seven Safari bugs and three flaws in the Web Kit browser engine used by Safari. One of the Web Kit flaws was exploited in March by Independent Security Evaluators Researcher Charlie Miller to hack into a MacBook Air laptop to win a well-publicized hacking contest.

Miller said he'd warned Apple that the iPhone was vulnerable to the same attack, but the company had told him it was not. In an interview via e-mail Friday, he expressed exasperation at seeing that the issue had finally been addressed. In the past he has been critical of Apple for patching bugs in its Mac OS X software while leaving the same issues unpatched in the iPhone, which is also based on OS X.

Friday's update also fixes networking bugs in the Mac OS kernel software and CFNetwork software used by the iPhone.

Although the iPhone has not been the target of any known attacks, the iPhone 2.0 patch is worth downloading, said David Marcus, a security research manager with McAfee. "If you look at what the bad guys are looking at, browsers are certainly high on their list," he said. "It's important that when patches are released, people update as soon as they can."

The iPhone 2.0 software has a few other bells and whistles to encourage the upgrade, such as support for Cisco VPN connections and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. It also has better e-mail and contact management features, Apple says.

The update is also intended for iPod Touch users, Apple said. People who buy the iPhone 3G shouldn't need to do anything because the iPhone 2.0 software comes preloaded on that device.

Actually getting the iPhone 2.0 update on Friday was a tricky prospect for some. Apple's iTunes update site was overwhelmed by customers upgrading to iPhone 2.0 and by iPhone 3G buyers activating their new phones.

The company's public relations staff was apparently overwhelmed too. They didn't return calls and e-mails seeking comment for this story.

Apple's last set of security fixes for the iPhone came out Jan. 15.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?