Apple unsigned iOS & iPadOS 13.5 on Monday in a move intended to prevent downgrades to a publicly available jailbreakable firmware version. Hacker and unc0ver lead developer Pwn20wnd quickly responded to the act this week by releasing unc0ver v5.2.0 with support for iOS & iPadOS 13.5.5 beta 1, providing jailbreak hopefuls with a second chance to upgrade to jailbreakable firmware.
But as it would seem, this was a short-lived hoorah. Apple appears to have stopped signing iOS & iPadOS 13.5.5 beta 1 as of last night, effectively and once again preventing iPhone and iPad users from installing a jailbreakable firmware for the second time in the same week.
The news was first pointed out by an avid jailbreaker on /r/jailbreak late last night, and further reinforced by several commenters who claimed they began receiving errors while attempting to install iOS 13.5.5 beta 1 on their handsets:
Surprising? No not really; especially given the fact that Apple has been rather quick in recent memory to cease signing versions of iOS and iPadOS that can be hacked for the sake of user enjoyment. The fact that this was a beta firmware probably exacerbated Apple’s unsigning decision, as the company tends to disapprove of when users install beta releases for any reason besides testing them to report bugs to be patched in final releases.
As for who this change impacts, that’s a very subjective situation…
Anyone using a handset as old as the iPhone 5s or as new as the iPhone X can easily jailbreak with checkra1n regardless of the firmware version they’re using since this jailbreak uses a hardware-based bootrom exploit called checkm8 that can’t be patched by Apple.
If you’re using an iPhone XS or newer, up to and including the iPhone 11 Pro, then this change would impact you as the checkra1n jailbreak doesn’t support these handsets. Instead, you’d be relying on software-based tfp0 exploits like those found in the unc0ver jailbreak, and these are easily patched in software updates as we saw with the recent release of iOS 13.5.1.
If you were already running a jailbroken installation of iOS 13.5, then this change won’t impact you whatsoever unless you accidentally update to iOS 13.5.1 or newer. If you have no intention of jailbreaking, then this change also will not impact you in any way, shape, or form.
In any case, it looks like jailbreak hopefuls who didn’t update in time will need to wait for yet another jailbreak update before they can take advantage of the plethora of benefits that come with jailbreaking.
As always, you can use the handy IPSW.me online utility to discern whether a particular public firmware release is being signed. For anything else, including beta releases like this one, you can use tsschecker.
Are you sad to see that iOS 13.5.5 beta 1 is no longer being signed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.