Apple issues security software update for 802.11n AirPort Base Station

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 20
Apple has issued a security update for the 802.11n AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule units, the first one in over a year and a half.

802.11n AirPort Extreme base station


The update was issued on Thursday afternoon, with Apple saying that it "improves the security of your base station and is recommended for all Apple 802.11n Wi-Fi base stations including AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule." As of yet, details of what has been rectified are not available.

The last security-centric AirPort update prior to Thursday's 7.8.1 for this model was version 7.7.9 in December 2017. Version 7.8 was only for the AirPort express, and added AirPlay 2 features in December 2018.

To install the firmware update, AirPort and Time Capsule users have to perform the update through the AirPort Utility in macOS. If an update is available, an Update button is presented, which will command the base station to continue with the installation.

In April 2018, Apple announced it had discontinued the long-running AirPort Wi-Fi router line, with existing online and in-store stock being the last remaining units it would sell. The news followed a year after reports Apple had broken up its AirPort devision, shuffling employees to other areas and projects in an apparent sign the product line was close to ending.

In January 2018, Apple started to sell the Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi System online and in store, an apparent break in Apple's policy to only sell its own routers, and the first third-party router to be sold in its retail outlets.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,208member
    1) I see no layout or settings change, like the addition of WPA3, which I've noticed is a setting option with macOS 10.15 Catalina.

    2) The AirPort Extreme I updated was a decade old!  I think the iPod was still Apple's biggest seller. An AirPort Extreme design (not generation) that has been discontinued for 6 years. When I saw this article I happened to be over at the house of someone's house whom I gifted an old 3rd gen 802.11n earlier this year. I pulled it out of my tech closet and dusted it off after years of sitting idle because they were paying a monthly fee to their internet provider for a clunky router that wasn't any more useful than this decade old AirPort. How many companies are doing that? How many of these are even in use?
    edited June 20 forgot usernamembenz1962caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    7.9.1 for the newer ac units came out in late May 2019.  This had a lot of security fixes. The article saying 7.6.9 was the latest security centric update is In error

    please see kB HT210090
    edited June 20 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Soli said:
    1) I see no layout or settings change, like the addition of WPA3, which I've noticed is a setting option with macOS 10.15 Catalina.

    wpa3 or WiFi 6 requires new hardware as far as routers go I think 



    2) The AirPort Extreme I updated was a decade old!  I think the iPod was still Apple's biggest seller. 

    I like my airports. Rock solid. They don’t go anywhere near gigabit speeds though even over wire

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,792administrator
    7.9.1 for the newer ac units came out in late May 2019.  This had a lot of security fixes. The article saying 7.6.9 was the latest security centric update is In error

    please see kB HT210090
    Today's update isn't for the AC units. Just the N.

    This is the newest update for the N units, with the last non-AirPlay 2 one in 2017.
    edited June 20 caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 453member
    7.9.1 for the newer ac units came out in late May 2019.  This had a lot of security fixes. The article saying 7.6.9 was the latest security centric update is In error

    please see kB HT210090
    Today's update isn't for the AC units. Just the N.

    This is the newest update for the N units, with the last non-AirPlay 2 one in 2017.
    This is Apple's support page showing latest security updates and detailing instructions for updating.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201519

    I just finished three Time Capsules and three Airport Express units without issues.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,792administrator
    emoeller said:
    7.9.1 for the newer ac units came out in late May 2019.  This had a lot of security fixes. The article saying 7.6.9 was the latest security centric update is In error

    please see kB HT210090
    Today's update isn't for the AC units. Just the N.

    This is the newest update for the N units, with the last non-AirPlay 2 one in 2017.
    This is Apple's support page showing latest security updates and detailing instructions for updating.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201519

    I just finished three Time Capsules and three Airport Express units without issues.
    Yup, this is the procedure for the update. Doesn't quite list today's update yet, with a last updated of May 31.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    mobirdmobird Posts: 224member
    So the "n" Airports can only be updated via a Mac?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,792administrator
    mobird said:
    So the "n" Airports can only be updated via a Mac?
    At the time this article was published, yes. It may have migrated to the iOS Airport Utility by now.
    mobirdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,140member
    I wish Apple was still in the router business, I owned one of every generation and only moved to my Orbi setup once Apple confirmed they were exiting the market.
    entropyspetiegcaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    indiekidukindiekiduk Posts: 303member
    It would be useful to me if you put the new version number in the article. My express is currently on 7.8 and extreme n on 7.6.9 and both showing updates available but not what the new version will be.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    Interestingly I tried using an MBP with Catalina (totally forgot it was ) and it tried to update then failed.  A MacPro running
    Mojave updated no problem of course.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,792administrator
    It would be useful to me if you put the new version number in the article. My express is currently on 7.8 and extreme n on 7.6.9 and both showing updates available but not what the new version will be.
    7.8.1. I'll add it to the text a bit later.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,109member
    mobird said:
    So the "n" Airports can only be updated via a Mac?
    At the time this article was published, yes. It may have migrated to the iOS Airport Utility by now.
    It was in the iOS Airport Utility when I ran my updates about an hour ago.
    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    mbenz1962mbenz1962 Posts: 127member
    I installed this update this morning on 3 of my routers. The recently updated express went from 7.8 to 7.8.1 as mentioned in the article. The gen 5 extreme (non ac) and the old express (gen 1 with wireless n) went from 7.6.9 to 7.8.1.
    Apple’s documentation is a bit unclear regarding this old express. It lists two models of express which neither of which are this particular model. It lists the (now previous) firmware for the n express as 7.8 which was never released for this gen 1 model and the “original” express which didn’t have n and is left on 6.3. I thought I would highlight it since it isn’t spelled out in the article or in Apple’s own support doc and the info may be useful to folks who may still have this same model kicking around.
    In my opinion this was by far the best designed express style router from Apple. It plugged into the wall with no power cable and was really compact. The status LED was big and easy to see. It is nice that a model that was originally released in 2008 is still getting updated.  Apple really tries to keep devices in service for as long as possible. Like Soli said previously, incredible!! 
    edited June 21 libertyforallmobirdcaladanian
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Does this mean that ALL AirPorts can be updated?
    EdmontonGuy
  • Reply 16 of 17
    egold44egold44 Posts: 7member
    I really want to ask Tim Cook where Apple is going with this, but hoping to reach the most sophisticated Apple users with my train of thought: so Apple creates a pumped up secondary market for used Airport Express 2nd Gen after they update firmware to support AirPlay 2. Now an Apple consumer can have whole home sync audio, outfitting receivers with an old Express, connecting music between rooms along with HomePods and Apple TVs Gen 4. But until all receiver makers license AirPlay 2 or add firmware update support, these old Express base stations are vital for old receivers, yet Apple no longer manufactures routers, and they’re not reentering the AirPort business anytime soon. This void needs filling with a new product, no? Or are these Express Gen 2s going to have a 15-20 year useful lifespan? Plus are there hardware limitations to Apple TV 3rd Gen that Apple could update its TV app recently but not rollout AirPlay 2 support? Other thoughts on what’s next in the audio space for Apple and 3rd party audio hardware developers?
  • Reply 17 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,109member
    Does this mean that ALL AirPorts can be updated?
    Just the n models.
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