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Error 53: Apple updates iOS, TouchID remains broken


Apple’s finding itself in a deep security quagmire this month, with the FBI hot on its tail, and the recent Error 53 feature still rearing its ugly head, which locked some users of repaired devices out of their phones completely.

But while Tim Cook has slapped the FBI with his consumer ethics handbook, the company has also updated iOS to fix Error 53 for good.

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iOS 9.2.1 is a special update for those who had their devices (more imperatively, their TouchID home buttons) repaired by third-party non-authorised Apple wizards. Once the repair is made and the user attempts to gain access to the device with a newly installed TouchID home button, Error 53 appears, essentially bricking the device.

Apple noted that Error 53 is the result of the device failing a security check, but it has been more of a painful topic for those who can’t afford official Apple repairers’ exorbitant fees.

Nevertheless, if you bricked your device recently, iOS 9.2.1 should bring it back to life. However, the TouchID system will remain disabled.

The reason? The TouchID button is unique to each iPhone, and fingerprints registered on the device are stored in the secure enclave co-processor, according to TechCrunch. It’s effectively tied to the TouchID unit originally fitted. Allowing it to talk to all subsequent TouchID devices is a security risk.

According to MacRumors, Apple’s also facing a class-action law suit regarding Error 53, as the company hasn’t provided forewarning that attempts to fix crippled iPhones could actually render them completely useless.

iOS 9.2.1 is not actually a major new version of iOS, so it will not be issued over-the-air. Instead, Apple’s issuing the update through iTunes, and it can be installed by plugging in the problem iPhone to the PC or Mac, opening iTunes and installing the update.

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