Users warned: Apple iPhones, computers wide open to data theft

WASHINGTON – Apple Inc. said Saturday that it has issued a software “patch” to fix an encryption gap that would allow hackers to steal personal data, including emails and financial information, from millions of users on their personal mobile devices.

According to reports Friday, the company announced that it released this fix for mobile devices running the iOS (operating system), including the iPhone 4 and later, 5th-generation iPod touches, and iPad 2 and later. Users are urged to go to their device’s “settings” to get the proper software update that will block the gap that would otherwise allow access to an individual’s personal network, particularly when the user is using their device in publicly available WiFi hotspots.

“That doesn’t mean that anybody can get access to your data, but any good hacker can,” CNET Technology Analyst Larry Magid tells WTOP.”It’s a very vulnerable moment.”

Worse, researchers on Friday announced — and Apple confirmed — that the major security flaw in the iPhones and iPads seems to be in notebook and desktop machines running MAC OS X, too. And so far, there is no similar fix for them.

Apple Inc., said on Saturday that it would issue a software update for the dangerous gap computers “very soon,” according to a Reuters report on Saturday.

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