Apple has released fixes for 81 security bugs in its new iOS 5.1 mobile operating system, including Safari, Siri and Passcode flaws that could expose users' devices to hackers or allow them to be corrupted remotely.
One of the bugs, the Passcode Lock flaw detailed in Apple's software upgrade advisory Wednesday, allowed for the bypass of the passcode screen on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices at the hands of someone with physical access to the device. The flaw, Apple said, "existed in the handling of slide to dial gestures," the physical left-to-right swipe needed to unlock a device.
Siri was fixed to prevent the iPhone personal assistant from heeding voice commands that, when enabled for use on the lock screen, could trick it into sending messages to an arbitrary recipient.
Along with two Kernel bugs and a Safari browser flaw that accidentally recorded Private Browsing sites, Apple fixed 71 vulnerabilities in WebKit, the library used in iOS and Google's Android browser, as well as numerous other browsers.
(It was a memory-corruption bug in Google Chrome's WebKit component that led to the successful exploitation of Google Chrome during the Pwn2Own hacking contest at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.)
Apple's iOS 5.1 can be downloaded at the Apple website. To complement the up-to-date operating system, it's important to run mobile anti-virus software on your smartphone or tablet and to download apps only from Apple or Google Android's official app stores.