BOSTON Apple Inc has plugged a hole in the software that runs iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch music players that could allow hackers to take remote control of those devices.
The security flaw came to light nine days ago as the website www.jailbreakme.com released code that Apple customers can use to modify the iOS operating system that runs those devices through a process known as "jail breaking."
Some Apple customers choose to jail break their devices so they can download and run applications that are not approved by Apple or use iPhone phones on networks of carriers that are not approved by Apple.
The jailbreaking code exploited a vulnerability in iOS that had not previously been disclosed. Its release gave criminal hackers a blueprint they could use to build malicious software that would exploit the vulnerability.
Now that the security patch has been released, Apple customers will be protected against any such malware as long as they install the software updates on their equipment.
Security flaw in iOS software have the potential to affect millions of devices that are at the core of Apple's business.
Apple has sold 25 million iPads since it launched last year. The company sold over 18 million of its popular iPhones in just the first three months of the year.
(Reporting by Jim Finkle, editing by Bernard Orr)