Apple Stops Signing iOS 9.2 Firmware For Select Devices [Updated]
There hasn’t been a great deal of activity in the world of iOS jailbreaking in recent weeks. Apple has been busy behind the scenes, working tirelessly in order to bring the latest public version of iOS to 9.2.1, and the latest pre-release version to the second beta of iOS 9.3. We can only imagine that those involved in searching for a jailbreak – such as the Pangu and TaiG jailbreak teams – are working equally as hard in the background to piece together the necessary parts. As that work goes on undercover, Apple has made the next move by no longer digitally signing iOS 9.2 on a select number of iOS devices.
The devices for which iOS 9.2 is no longer signed as of this writing includes iPad 2 (WiFi, CDMA, GSM), iPad 3, (GSM, CDMA) and iPhone 4s. For all other devices, it is still being signed. We are not sure why Apple has stopped signing the firmware for only these devices but it probably wouldn’t be long before Apple stops signing iOS 9.2 for all the devices.
Apple’s decision to immediately cease the signing of iOS 9.2 comes almost immediately after a prominent member of the Pangu Jailbreak Team chose to speak out about the security of iOS. Well-known hacker Windknown, who works with Pangu in attempting to liberate iOS from Apple’s walled garden, recently took to the internet with a writeup on the security fixes that are embedded within iOS 9.2.1. After bamboozling the majority of us with an in-depth look at vulnerabilities in iOS 9.2, his advice was pretty clear – upgrade immediately to iOS 9.2.1 if you don’t require a jailbreak.
It’s unknown how many jailbreak followers took that advice and immediately went through the process of moving from iOS 9.2 to iOS 9.2.1. What is clear is that now that Apple has started to stop signing iOS 9.2, and once they have stopped signing the older firmware for all the devices, it will no longer be possible for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners to downgrade the firmware on their devices from iOS 9.2.1 to iOS 9.2. With that said, given that there’s no publicly available jailbreak for either iOS 9.2 or iOS 9.2.1, being stuck on the latter until some kind of progress is made doesn’t really seem like much of a hardship, especially for those who were actually previously on 9.2.
There’s also some discussion going on in the online world about whether or not Windknown’s advice was purely provided from a security perspective. Some of the more inquisitive members of the jailbreak community have been found murmuring over social media as to whether it was actually backhanded instruction to prepare people for the release of an iOS 9.2.1 jailbreak solution. Given the fact that Pangu 9 effectively blindsided us all by being released without prior warning, anything is possible.
We’ll update this post as and when Apple stops signing iOS 9.2 on devices other than iPad 2 (WiFi, CDMA, GSM), iPad 3, (GSM, CDMA) and iPhone 4s. Stay tuned.
Update x1: Apple has now stopped signing iOS 9.2 for all devices. Downgrading from iOS 9.2.1 to iOS 9.2 is no longer possible.