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Emergency update for Apple Watch and Mac computers
© Shubhashish Chakrabarty |
Security & privacy

Time to update! Apple’s emergency patch fixes zero-day vulnerability in Macs, Apple Watches

It’s always good practice to update your devices as soon as an update is available. It’s one of the best ways to defend against cybercriminals. You’ll usually get some helpful new tools, too.

May’s Patch Tuesday update from Microsoft fixed 75 flaws, including three zero-days. Tap or click here for details. It’s Apple’s turn. The tech giant just pushed out an emergency update for Mac computers and Apple Watches.

Read on for details on what the critical update covers and how you can get it.

Here’s the backstory

Early last month, Apple rushed out an emergency patch for iPhone, Mac and iPad that fixes two zero-day vulnerabilities in the respective operating systems. And now, a few days after the release of iOS 15.5, the company is urging Mac and Apple Watch users to update.

An unidentified cybersecurity researcher is responsible for the vulnerability’s discovery, tracked as CVE-2022-22675. It has become an industry practice for companies to refrain from disclosing the nature of security flaws until most users update.

What we do know about the issue is that audio and video decoding kernel extension AppleAVD is the target. In theory, hackers can exploit the out-of-bounds write issue to execute malicious code on Mac computers and Apple Watches.

What you can do about it

Apple released updates to fix the vulnerability for three operating systems, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The latter is the operating system for Apple TV streaming devices. The affected devices are:

  • Macs running on the previous Big Sur operating system.
  • Apple TV 4K, second-generation and HD devices.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 or newer.

How to update Mac:

  • Click on the Apple menu in the corner of the screen.
  • Tap System Preferences.
  • In the following menu, click Software Update.
  • Then, click Update Now or Upgrade Now.

If you already have Monterey installed, you’ll only need to click on Update Now. However, if you are still on a previous version, such as Big Sur, click on Upgrade Now to move to the latest operating system version. macOS Monterey is around 12GB in size.

How to update your Apple Watch manually:

  • On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then tap the My Watch tab. 
  • Tap General > Software Update.
  • Download the update. If asked for your iPhone passcode or Apple Watch passcode, enter it. 
  • Wait for the progress wheel to appear on your Apple Watch. It could take from several minutes to an hour for the update to complete. 

NOTE: If your Apple Watch has watchOS 6 or later, you can install subsequent updates without your iPhone.

How to update directly on your Apple Watch:

  • Ensure that your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi.
  • On your watch, open the Settings app.
  • Tap General > Software Update.
  • Tap Install if a software update is available, then follow the onscreen instructions.

NOTE: Leave your Apple Watch on its charger while the update completes, and don’t restart it. When the update completes, your Apple Watch restarts on its own.

How to update Apple TV:

  • Open Settings on Apple TV.
  • Go to System Software Updates and select Update Software. If an update is available, a message appears.
  • Select Download and Install to start downloading. (NOTE: During the update process, don’t disconnect your Apple TV. The status light may flash slowly during the update process.)

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