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iOS 5 to block downgrades, discourage some jailbreaks

updated 12:55 pm EDT, Mon June 27, 2011

iOS 5 to make downgrading more difficult

Apple will soon make it harder for users to revert their iPhones to older versions of the iOS operating system, the unofficial iPhone Dev Team found. iOS 5 beta reportedly has a different APTicket which will refine the way the phone boots. It will look at an authentic APTicket, which will be generated randomly at every restore function rather than ECID and firmware versions.

This authentication process will happen at every boot and not just when restoring phones. Only Apple will have the crypto keys to properly sign the APTicket and used or replayed APTickets won't work. Only iOS 5 and newer handsets are affected by this change and Apple will have the ability to turn it on or off. Tethered jailbreaks will be possible, such as Geohot's limera1n, and restoring to firmwares before iOS 5 using saved blobs will also be possible. Older iTunes versions will need to be used for this, however.

Apple has been doing a similar thing with the BBTicket and a move like this one has been expected as Apple scales up its security efforts. And as in the past, with time the hacking community may find a workaround to this latest security measure.

The company has often tried to discourage jailbreaks but has usually had to do it through future updates that close the security exploits used for jailbreaks. This has helped deter some but often leaves many holding on to an older version or regressing if they update by mistake. Apple still wouldn't have a way to completely shut down jailbreaks but would leave many users cautious about updating the OS too quickly.

by MacNN Staff



  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh good

    Because the last thing you want to be able to do after installing an update to your phone's OS is to downgrade it after you find all the problems with it.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is simple

    Apple, and all the other tech companies, simply want us to have zero control over our computing/gaming equipment. For the foreseeable future we will simply be leasing them and are at the mercy of whatever they feel is the "right thing to do" with our computers/gaming equipment. Get used to it. :(

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That is precisely...

    ...what puts me off from Apple's iProducts.

    Not only are all connectors proprietary and the battery irreplaceable by the user; with the locked in OS you get the feeling the device is never actually yours. If you still want to go through the trouble and jailbreak the device with every new OS update you have to fight the company all over again...

    It used to be that Apple would advertise proudly their user replaceable parts, on their products, batteries in the case of the Newton. Now no matter how good their products are it seems they still want to lock you in by force.

    Wonder how many more users Apple would gain if they re-adopted their original respectful attitude towards users. With it's ever growing market share It's time Apple dumped the OS locks, proprietary connectors, and even the sealed-in iStuff batteries.

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