All about Apple’s big signing screw-up that allowed users to downgrade to versions of iOS as old as iOS 6!
Disclaimer: While this article is factually correct, it does have a somewhat comedic undertone to it since Apple’s been messing up a tad too much lately!
Yesterday will probably be remembered for quite a while since it’s the biggest mess-up Apple has done in a while. This iOS signing blunder is one of the many mess-ups Apple has done in recent months, which include leaking your password for encrypted APFS volumes, allowing anybody to use the ‘root’ account without a password and the emoji/date bugs on iOS 11.1 among others.
What is SHSH and what actually happened yesterday?
SHSH(2) blobs are files that let you downgrade your Apple device to a firmware (version of iOS) that isn’t signed by Apple. (64-bit devices need a signed SEP – research about that yourself!) Reasons to downgrade are many and they range from wanting a jailbreak to not liking Apple’s UI ‘updates’ (or downgrades depending on your perspective) to bad performance on the latest version of iOS for your device.
For those of you who don’t know, you can’t downgrade to any version of iOS you want on your iDevice since Apple closes the signing window a few days/weeks after a newer version of iOS is released. Quite obviously, if Apple doesn’t sign the firmware, you can’t install it on your iDevice (with the exception of devices earlier than the iPhone 3GS (included) and A4 devices with tethered booting).
The actual blunder is that 2 days ago, Apple shut off firmware signing for iOS 9.3.5 for Apple A5 devices which effectively left them without a version of iOS to restore to if they end up in a boot loop or something goes south. Then, some presumably drunk Apple employee (thank Reddit for the adjective!) put signing for iOS 9.3.5 for Apple A5 back on BUT there was an unintended side effect to this fix..
At about 6:27AM GMT+1, a Reddit user posted that according to IPSW.me, older firmwares (iOS 6-8) for Apple A5-7 devices were being signed and in the subsequent hours until about 9-10AM GMT+1, various firmwares were being signed for many devices (including the iPhone 7) such as:
- iOS 10.3
- iOS 10.2(.1)
- iOS 10.1(.1)
- iOS 9.3.3
- iOS 9.1 – last untethered jailbreak for 64-bit devices
- iOS 9.0
- iOS 8.0
- iOS 7.0.3-7.1.1
- iOS 6.1.3 (Still being signed for the iPhone 4S as per IPSW.me)
Yesterday, a great deal of whining could be seen on r/jailbreak since Conan’s server went down due to the unforeseen amount of SHSH saving requests. Whining was also present because some people couldn’t activate their iPhone/iPad since you can’t activate iPhones (not 100% sure about Wi-Fi only iPads) that were once on iOS 10, on iOS 9 or lower so those people had to restore to the latest version of iOS if they didn’t change their MAC address or use the activation_records method.
If you, like me, weren’t able to save the blobs for some reason (there are many..), check out this guide so that you could maybe save yourself the sour grapes feeling if something similar happens again: https://www.ziph0n.com/blog/article.php?id=8
r/jailbreak – The source for this article (and most jailbreak news nowadays): https://www.reddit.com/r/jailbreak/
When the news broke (ironically someone predicted this a few hours before!): https://www.reddit.com/r/jailbreak/comments/7plxl2/news_ios_7_and_8_is_currently_signed_for_a57/