Apple has literally seeded iOS 11.2.1 to the general public and that too in a surprising manner to some given how quickly it reacted and pushed the successor to the release of iOS 11.2.
With the availability of iOS 11.2.1, not only means that all compatible device owners have yet another version of iOS 11 to download, but also they get grips with the official changelog provided by Apple to see exactly what has changed.
Release notes for the iOS 11.2.1 have given a quick feedback with Apple, when a version of iOS is in the pre-release state it’s very difficult to get information from the company authorities about any new changes. As its being a developer and public testers build, an official set of release notes are published alongside the update to let device owners know exactly what they are getting.
While the new and immediate release of iOS 11.2.1 is a slight anomaly in that process as there was no actual pre-release in place due to the nature of the fixes it contains. iOS 11.2 was a fairly big major release with a number of latest and important improvements and feature additions. iOS 11.2.1 is only a bug fix which contains a very minimal patch for a 0-day vulnerability found which affect HomeKit and connected devices.
It was already reported that this issue would eventually allow malicious individuals to hijack control over HomeKit-enabled devices, including smart locks protecting a property. When iOS 11.2 was installed on a device, this occurred. Given the fact of that issue, Apple dynamically reacted and introduced a temporary server-side fix to prevent the problem from happening. And today Apple issued a proper fix for it in iOS 11.2.1 update, as reflected in the changelog below:
iOS 11.2.1 fixes bugs including an issue that could disable remote access to shared users of the Home app.
Rather than focusing on making the right improvements in the correct place, Apple is very much taking time at the movement where software and the discovery of bugs. Apple ensuring that each release is error-free and fit-for-purpose, it seems that the company is firefighting and having to bring release forward to patch bugs and jailbreak exploits which keep popping up.
Not only the case with iOS platform but also recently seen this with an urgent release of macOS 10.13.2 to properly fix the root login bypass bug. The early release of iOS 11.2 released to fix a boot loop issue for date bug, and now the release of iOS 11.2.1 to fix a 0-day found in HomeKit.
Update x1: Apple has now also posted security content details on iOS 11.2.1:
Available for: iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation
Impact: A remote attacker may be able to unexpectedly alter application state
Description: A message handling issue was addressed with improved input validation.
CVE-2017-13903: Tian Zhang
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