APPLE iPhone owners have been urged to download an iOS update or expose themselves to the risk of a “devastating” hack attack.

The tech giant’s security bods have discovered a dozen vulnerabilities in the operating system which powers iPhones and iPads.

It immediately stepped into to address the problem, releasing a version of the software called iOS 10.2.1.

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If Apple users don’t download it, they could be attacked if they click on a dodgy video or website, allowing crooks to take control of their phones using a “malicious application”.

“It can add files, delete files, or execute any actions,” says JP Taggart, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes told Wired.

“Want to record conversations and forward them to someone else? It can do that.”

He said it can also remove apps from a victim’s phone and hide its actions from users.

This is the screen which iPhone owners will see when they update.

This is the screen which iPhone owners will see when they update.Source:Supplied

Apple is always quick to plug security holes as they arrive.

It will automatically tell users about the update for their iPhones, which can then be downloaded in one easy step.

You can also open up settings and go into the general menu, which has an option to make the installation.

However, this latest one was only identified by the very brightest researchers, which means the average hacker would probably not be able to find it.