Apple software updates are a regular occurrence. Often, the minor updates include numerous bug fixes and sometimes even a few noticeable changes to your iPhone or Mac. However, this week, Apple released new software for iOS and macOS that go far beyond minor fixes, the updates patched a major security flaw that could allow hackers to have full control over your device.

According to XDA Developers, iOS 15.6.1 and macOS Monterey 12.5.1 plugged a serious leak in WebKit, the engine behind Safari on Mac and all web browsers on iPhone and iPad. There was a second issue at the kernel level of Apple's operating systems, which, if exploited, would provide hackers admin privileges on affected devices. If someone gains that level of access, they will acquire complete control and unfettered access to your computer, phone or tablet.

Apple's latest iPhone software update, iOS 15.6.1, includes a fix for a significant security flaw

According to Apple, there's reason to believe that active hacking attempts have successfully exploited both security flaws, so users should update their Apple devices as soon as possible. Fortunately, not everyone who finds security flaws like this has nefarious purposes. An anonymous researcher or researchers alerted Apple to the security flaws. Apple has a Security Bounty program that will pay good-Samaritan hackers for finding and alerting Apple to security issues, with payouts ranging up to $1,000,000 depending upon the severity of the security flaw.

Any users with an iPhone released since 2015, an iPad released since 2014, or a Mac running macOS Monterrey can download the latest updates through the Settings app on mobile devices or the 'About this Mac' menu on a Mac computer.