iOS 12.5.6 update for iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus fixes a critical security issue

Sep 1, 2022

Apple has released a new update for the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, and a couple of older iPads. The iOS 12.5.6 update that contains a security fixe for a critical issue.

iOS 12.5.6 update fixes a security issue in older iPhones and iPads

A support page on the Cupertino company's website describes the issue as follows: "Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution." In other words, the bug could have allowed attackers to execute malicious code in apps for example, it may allow a website to run a malware script. Since the issue is related to the WebKit engine it not only impacts Safari, but also includes all apps that rely on it, especially other web browsers.

The issue has been filed under 243557 at WebKit Bugzilla. The vulnerability was an out-of-bounds write issue, which Apple has addressed with improved bounds checking.

The release notes published by Apple indicate that the vulnerability may have been exploited by a threat actor, though it doesn't go into further details about the same. This might explain why the company jumped to fix the bug on old phones, to prevent more users from being impacted by the issue.

The security issue has reference number CVE-2022-32893. The number and the description of the bug might sound similar to the one referenced in our previous article, that's because it is. To recall, the company rolled out an update last month, to fix a couple of security issues in iOS 15.6.1, iPadOS 15.6.1 and macOS Monterey 12.5.1. However, Apple has confirmed that devices that are running on iOS 12 are not affected by the 2nd exploit, referred to in CVE-2022-32894.

Devices that are eligible for the iOS 12.5.6 update

The iOS 12.5.6 update is available for the following devices: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch 6th gen. 9to5Mac notes that the build number of the firmware is 16H71.

The electronics giant dropped feature support for the devices when it released iOS 13. Apple released the final iOS 12 update for these devices in September 2021, but continued to provide security fixes when they were available.  For example, the iPhone 5s was announced 9 years ago, in September 2013, but it still receives security updates. It's good to see a company offering long-term support for older devices, which is one of the reasons why some people hang on to their iPhones for many years. Now, if only Apple allowed updating system apps like Mail, iMessage without requiring iOS updates, that would be fantastic.

Nevertheless, Android OEMs can learn a thing or two from Apple's software support policy. Samsung provides 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security updates for its flagship phones. Likewise, Google supports 5 years of security updates for its newer Pixel phones. The rest of the crowd aren't very impressive, some companies provide just a year of updates before ending software support for the device completely.

Apple is set to announce the iPhone 14 lineup on September 7th. It will release the iOS 16 update a week later, around September 16th.

Do you use an old iPhone that no longer receives OS updates?

iOS 12.5.6 update for iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus fixes a critical security issue
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iOS 12.5.6 update for iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus fixes a critical security issue
Apple releases iOS 12.5.6 update to fix a critical security issue on old iPhones and iPads.
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  1. Mosibudi said on October 31, 2022 at 10:48 am

    I am using iPhone 5 but I can’t download anything even to upgrade to iOS its impossible

  2. ShintoPlasm said on September 2, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Say what you want about Apple (questionable ethics, lost its way…), their software support is beyond reproach.

    1. Doge said on September 4, 2022 at 11:00 am

      Having a few phones to give updates to helps. The Android scene is a mess.

      1. ShintoPlasm said on September 6, 2022 at 10:50 am


        The Android scene is like the Linux scene – totally fragmented, full of weird and abandoned distros.

  3. owl said on September 2, 2022 at 4:31 am

    In the past, I bought an iPad Mini 2 as I thought it would be useful for car navigation when I was posted abroad. Now that I am retired, I use the AirPlay function of that model to listen to Classic FM (UK).
    Since it was an end-of-support model, I had limited its use, but I am glad that the update to iOS 12.5.6 was applied.

    1. owl said on September 3, 2022 at 3:20 am

      > I use the AirPlay function of that model to listen to Classic FM (UK).

      I didn’t word it well enough, so I will add it so that everyone can understand it.
      Rather than viewing audiovisuals on a PC or mobile device, the “AirPlay” functionality implemented natively in Apple products, connecting to a network audio player via LAN, and output from an audio amplifier through audio speakers is absolutely superior in terms of acoustics.
      It is as if we are enjoying in the Großer Musikvereinssaal at Die Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, so we can enjoy classical music, movies, etc.
      Moreover, the iPad Mini 2’s rated power consumption is low, which is nice.
      As a result, contact with virtual reality Cyber-space has been minimized and digital detox is well underway.

  4. gwerp said on September 2, 2022 at 3:58 am

    Both my phones are old iPhones that no longer get OS updates. I have friends who are always buying the latest-and-greatest model. I don’t care about that, so I get their discards, and use them until they die. My local Apple store still provides real-human support on the rare occasion I need it, even though I’m not the original owner and the phones are several generations old. Impressive.

  5. Jody Thornton said on September 1, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    I still use iOS 12 on my iPhone 6s. I just prefer it for a lot of reasons. I wish there was a way to kludge this update onto it. I don’t want to go to iOS 15.

    1. Anonymous said on September 2, 2022 at 12:55 pm

      15 works very well and you lose all the security important bug fixes, any reason?

      1. Jody Thornton said on September 4, 2022 at 11:45 pm

        I didn’t like the picture manager of iOS 13 and higher. iOS 12 was always renowned as exceptionally stable, similar to iOS 6.

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