Apple is going to release iOS 13 and iPadOS in the next few days. Not all iOS devices are eligible to be upgraded to iOS 13 or iPadOS. If your iOS device is not eligible, then this means it will not longer receive any updates in the future, including security fixes and patches. In other words, if your iOS device is not eligible for iOS 13 or iPadOS, it will become more and more vulnerable to hackers!
Which iPhones, iPads or iPod touches are going to be upgraded? They are:
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPod touch (7th generation)
These iPads will be upgraded to the new iPadOS:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro
- 11-inch iPad Pro
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
Are your iOS devices in this list? If not, then they are not eligible for upgrade to iOS 13 or iPadOS.
After iOS 13 is released, only devices running iOS 13 or iPadOS will receive future security updates. Since security holes in these older iOS devices (that cannot be upgraded to iOS 13 or iPadOS) will not be patched, hackers will then
- reverse-engineer those security updates issued to iOS 13 or iPadOS,
- find out which security holes are patched, and
- then attack these older iOS devices
Mind you, because there are approximately 1 billion of these older iOS devices in circulation, there is a large pool of devices that will be permanently vulnerable. With such large number of vulnerable devices, hackers know that their efforts will be well-rewarded. Therefore, they will have a much greater incentive to intensify their efforts in attacking these devices.
I bet you, unless Apple change their mind and make the effort in issuing security updates to their older iOS devices, there will be more horror hacking stories in the months to come.
What can you do?
What can you do if your iOS devices are not in the list? If you care about the security of your iOS devices, I’m afraid the only option is to stop using them and upgrade to new ones instead. If cost is a factor in stopping you from doing so, you don’t have to buy brand new devices. Get the cheaper second-hand or refurbished devices as long as they are in the list.
You will not want your devices to be among these 1 billion vulnerable devices.