Apple iOS 14.8: Everything to know about the latest iPhone update and security fix
The iOS 14.8 upgrade fixes a critical security flaw, and arrives the week before iOS 15's general release.
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Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Apple's iOS 14.8 was released on Monday, and the small update contains a big security fix. The latest version of Apple's mobile operating system repairs a vulnerability reportedly exploited by invasive spyware called Pegasus that can potentially turn on your phone's camera and microphone, and record messages, texts, emails and calls. (Though the odds of your iPhone or iPad being infected are low, you can still check to make sure your phone is not infected with Pegasus spyware -- here's how.)
The latest operating software update is only meant to fix the security flaw that the Pegasus spyware could exploit -- it doesn't bring any new features to your iPhone.
Pegasus was created by Israel-based cybersecurity company NSO Group, with the intention of helping governments pursue criminals and terrorists, CNET's Stephen Shankland reported. But in July, researchers found evidence of attempted or successful installations of Pegasus on 37 phones of activists, journalists and businesspeople -- and all but three of the devices were iPhones. It's another example of how vulnerable we can be to digital spying, even with security protections in place.
Again, it's unlikely that your iPhone would be targeted by Pegasus, particularly with the iOS 14.8 patch, but you can check to make sure here.