Apple latest iOS 16.3 Security update for your iPhone, Hardware Keys
iOS 16.3 is a version of the iOS operating system for iPhones and iPads. It includes security fixes to address vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code, access sensitive information, or cause a denial of service. Additionally, the update includes improvements to data protection, such as enhanced encryption for certain types of data and the ability to lock individual files and folders with a passcode or Touch ID. It also includes support for hardware keys, such as the Apple Proximity Key, which allows users to unlock their devices with a physical key instead of a passcode or biometric authentication.
Apple hardware security keys are physical security devices that can be used to authenticate a user’s identity and secure access to online accounts and services. They work by using a combination of public key cryptography and a secure element to verify the identity of the user and can be used in place of a password or other forms of authentication.
Apple has introduced its hardware security key, the Apple Proximity Key, which can be used with the company’s devices running iOS 14 or later and macOS 10.15.5 or later. The key is a small, coin-shaped device that can be used to authenticate a user’s identity by simply holding it near the device being used to access the account or service. It uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to communicate with the device and is designed to be small and portable, making it easy to carry with you at all times.
Using a hardware security key is considered to be more secure than using just a password because it adds a layer of security, such as a physical possession factor, making it harder for hackers to gain access to the user’s accounts and services.
What are the iOS 16.3 Security Fixes, Advanced Data Protection, & Hardware Keys updates:
iOS 16.3 is an operating system update for iPhones and iPads, and as such it does not directly update hardware security keys such as the Apple Proximity Key. However, it may include updates or improvements to the software that interfaces with the hardware security key, such as the NFC reader or the authentication framework. These updates could improve the performance or security of the hardware key when used with the device.
As mentioned before, the process of updating a hardware security key will depend on the manufacturer and the specific device. For the Apple Proximity Key, updates are delivered through the iPhone or iPad that is paired with the key, and the user will be prompted to install the update when available.
It is important to note that a firmware update for the key can only be done if the device running iOS 16.3 or later can communicate with the key, and the key’s firmware is compatible with the iOS version.
If you have any specific concerns or issues with your hardware security key and the iOS 16.3, it is best to consult the manufacturer’s documentation or reach out to their support for more information.
iOS 16.3 overview as I sort of dip my toes back in the water to get back into the swing of things so to speak uh included in this blog is a look at the global rollout of Advanced-Data protection and a look at these little Hardware security keys and how they are implemented in iOS 16.3.
I also have a much more in-depth walkthrough of these security keys in an upcoming blog as well there are tons more to come so go ahead and hit that subscribe button for more thanks for reading this blog.
so first and foremost some people may consider this boring stuff but to me, it’s anything but boring it’s really important actually and that is the bug fixes that iOS 16.3 brings to the table you have holes for several kernel vulnerabilities you have spots for maps fixes for Safari fixes for screen time and weather and a couple of significant WebKit fixes.
so if there’s no other reason why you decide to update to iOS 16.3 this should be it alright so let’s jump into some of the more user-facing features and changes starting with emergency SOS so previously when you would hold the side button along with one of the volume buttons you could invoke the emergency SOS.
where it would call Emergency Services the problem with the original implementation is that if these buttons were pressed by accident maybe you put it in a case where the button alignment wasn’t just right it would call Emergency Services automatically but now notice what happens.
so you see the two little indicators there you’ll both hear and see feedback from The Flash so it won’t call until you release the buttons this time so that will prevent you from accidentally calling emergency services now another change you’ll notice is the call quietly switch.
so this allows you to start an emergency call using those gestures that we see above but without that visual feedback you get from The Flash and without the audible feedback that you get so you can see it counting down but it’s dead silent it doesn’t even tell you to release the call.
when she reached the end of the countdown so she can just tap cancel to cancel U.S. customers have been enjoying Advanced Data protection since 16.2 but in 16.3 this opt-in feature which adds end-to-end encryption to nine additional iCloud data types goes Global now.
the standard data protection already provided end encryption for things like home data Health Data passwords and keychains Apple car transactions map Safari Etc but Advanced Data protection adds it for nine more data types like iCloud backups which include device and messages backups iCloud Drive photos notes reminders more.
so before you enable ADP you have to set up at least one account recovery option and that includes either a recovery key or a recovery contact I’ve added a recovery key which is a 28-digit key that can help you if you happen to lose access to your account and Apple’s very upfront about this telling you.
you will be responsible for data recovery because they no longer have the keys with Advanced Data protection enabled for things like photo notes reminders so if you lose access you’re going to lose access to your data, by the way, don’t copy and paste your recovery key please that’s an evil practice.
but I was just doing this for this blog I have an advanced data protection Deep dive blog coming up and it will explain and answer all the little questions that you may have about this so if you want to see that hit that thumbs up button and let me know Down Below in the comments.
but now I have ADP enabled you can see if I want to turn it off I just simply tap the turn off Advanced Data protection button like that and it tells me that those data types will no longer be protected by end-to-end encryption and that Apple will now be able to help me again if I happen to lose access.
alright so now let’s talk about Hardware security key support in iOS 16.3 this is going to be the brief explainer I have a deep dive on this subject in an upcoming blog so again make sure you read that because I go in-depth with every question you probably have about security keys but I’m going to give you the Abridged explainer here in this blog.
so security Keys offer you the strongest protection because they replace the six-digit codes that are sent to trusted devices when you log into a device with two-factor authentication enabled so security Keys to work as that second Factor replacing those six-digit Verification codes.
and eliminating any sort of phishing scam from an advanced attacker that may be able to somehow get that six-digit code that is sent to your trusted devices because you have these physical Keys now that is now impossible.
and here’s one of the keys that I recommend this is a bike USBC key so which means it has two interfaces you have USB and you have NFC which is great for the iPhone because the iPhone has NFC support so we can add this key via NFC simply by placing the key on the back of your iPhone like that so give your first key a name and then add the second key yes Apple requires that you add at least two keys to enable security key support in 16.3.
so this time I’m going to connect it using a lightning to USB cable and this other UB key uses USB a and I simply tap right here to add that key so Apple requires two keys just in case you lose the first one you still can access your account with the second one so once you add the keys you’re going to need to review your active devices.
because all these devices right here are logged-in devices with iCloud and they will not be logged out when you add these keys so even if they’re running an older version of iOS they will stay logged in even though you have the keys added so you just want to review that list to make sure there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be there alright.
so the keys are added and now I’m going to show you how to use security keys to log into a new installation of iOS 16.3 so you’re going to get a courtesy notification to your trust devices and it’ll tell you hey you try to log in was that you or was it not and if it wasn’t you can take the appropriate action.
but I’ll just tap OK and now I’m going to use my security key so I’m just going to grab one of the keys it doesn’t matter which one so I’ll take this one here and just place it behind my phone to connect via NFC just like that and now I’m authenticated it’s that easy but not everyone really should be using security keys.