Apple stops signing iOS 12.1, preventing firmware downgrades via iTunes

Apple officially closed the signing window for iOS 12.1 on Tuesday, a move that prevents all iPhone and iPad users from downgrading their handset’s firmware via iTunes to any version lower than iOS 12.1.1.

Apple released iOS 12.1.1 just under two weeks ago and followed up with iOS 12.1.2 yesterday afternoon, so it’s not very surprising that the company is halting downgrades to iOS 12.1. It’s somewhat typical for Apple to stop signing an older firmware version about two weeks after an update is released.

If you’re a jailbreaker, then this news could have implications for you. iOS 12.1 was the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system that was susceptible to a handful of recently-publicized bugs and exploits.

Although the public jailbreak tools available today, such as Electra and unc0ver, only support iOS 11.0-11.4 beta 3, the likelihood of future firmware inclusion would have potentially encompassed iOS 12.0-12.1. iOS 12.1.1 and 12.1.2 patched the aforementioned bugs and exploits, which excludes them from potential jailbreakability unless someone publishes new bugs or exploits in the future.

Given the circumstances, we hope all avid jailbreakers abided by the advice of several acclaimed hackers and stayed on the lowest possible version of iOS. Otherwise, your chances of jailbreaking in the near future have dropped significantly.

Apple frequently stops signing older versions of iOS to help facilitate software upgrades among its user base. Doing so helps ensure Apple’s user base are enjoying iOS’ latest and greatest features, protected by the latest security patches, and taking advantage of performance improvements and bug fixes. An unfortunate side-effect of this software model is that downgrading to jailbreakable firmware becomes significantly more challenging for users.

As always, you can track which versions of iOS are being signed for your device from the ever-so-useful website. You can also download relevant firmware files from the downloads page on iDownloadBlog.

Which version of iOS are you currently running? Let us know in the comments section below.