We highlight current cyber security threats in New Zealand, and provide guidance on what to do if they affect you.

2:00pm, 14 September 2021

TLP Rating: Clear

Apple iMessage vulnerability targeted by attackers

Apple has released a software update for iOS, macOS and watchOS. This update fixes a significant weakness in the system that could allow an attacker access a person’s phone, iPad, computer or watch without authorisation.

CERT NZ recommends all users of these operating systems immediately update their devices.

What's happening

Systems affected

Apple has stated the vulnerabilities affect three of their operating systems:

  • iOS
  • macOS
  • watchOS

What to do


Immediately update your Apple iOS, macOS and watchOS devices where the update is available. For most people, a pop-up should alert you that an update is available – select ‘Update Now’.

If you do not receive a pop up message, follow these steps:

For iPhone:
Settings > General > Software Update.

For Mac:
System preferences > Software Update.

For Apple Watch:
My Watch > General > Software Update.

For further information on affected devices and the update, see Apple's security notification. External Link

For further information about updating devices, see CERT NZ's guide to updating your devices External Link .  

CERT NZ recommends that anyone who has a device that is not able to receive updates look to replace their devices. For further information, see our guide on end-of-life devices.

More information

If you require more information or further support, submit a report on our website or contact us on 0800 CERTNZ.

Report an incident to CERT NZ

For media enquiries, email our media desk at or call the MBIE media team on 027 442 2141.