Apple Retracts iOS, macOS Rapid Security Response Updates

  • New Rapid Security Response updatess for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS came out to address WebKit vulnerabilities.
  • The RSRs broke Safari’s ability to render many popular websites.
  • Apple has retracted the updates pending a fix.
Apple retracts iOS, macOS Ventura Rapid Security Response Updates

Apple unveiled its latest Rapid Security Response (RSR) updates for iOS 16.5.1, iPadOS 16.5.1, and macOS Ventura 13.4.1 on Monday, July 10. The Cupertino-based tech giant swiftly retracted them, however. The updates included a bug causing a disruption in the functionality of select websites post-installation.

Apple Releases, Then Pulls, Rapid Security Response Updates for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS Ventura

Apple seeded the Rapid Security Response updates Monday. The idea was to remedy a WebKit vulnerability that Cupertino suspects malicious actors were actively exploiting.

The iPhone maker unveiled Rapid Security Response updates for its iOS and its other major operating systems in 2022. The feature debuted in iOS 16, iPadOS 16.1, and macOS 13 Ventura. The new system allows Cupertino to issue security and bug fixes on-the-fly in between full iOS, iPadOS, and macOS incremental updates.

Unfortunately, the latest RSRs had an unintended side effect. According to a MacRumors report, consumers quickly began having problems with popular online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Zoom, and others.

These sites began issuing warnings, specifically notifying Safari users that their browsers were no longer supported after implementing the RSR updates. It turned out the culprit was a modification to the Safari user agent to incorporate an additional element denoted by an (a), leading to the disruption of certain websites.

Once the underlying issue has been duly resolved, Apple is expected to re-release the RSR updates, providing users with a more polished and secure experience.

Uninstalling the RSR Update on Your iPhone, iPad, or Mac

For those who have already installed the update and find themselves contending with the fallout, a feasible solution exists. On all devices, you can uninstall the Rapid Security Response easily.

Time needed: 2 minutes

To remove an RSR update on iOS or iPadOS, follow these steps.

  1. Go to Settings > General > About.

  2. Tap the iOS Version number.

  3. Choose Remove Security Response.

From your Mac running macOS 13 Ventura, you can follow these steps to uninstall the Rapid Security Response update.

  1. Open System Settings from the Dock or the Apple menu.
  2. Click General > About.
  3. Click the ⓘ (Info) button next to macOS version.
  4. Beside Latest Security Response, click Remove.

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