Updating iOS Test Devices

This article will explain:

  1. Why NowSecure Workstation users should update iOS testing devices with caution because a jailbreak might not yet be available

  2. Why users should keep devices running major iOS versions that are not yet Jailbroken on reserve in anticipation of NowSecure Workstation support for those versions.

To account for all possible scenarios, mobile apps should undergo security testing in a worst-case environment such as on a Jailbroken device. For this reason, NowSecure Workstation tests iOS apps on a Jailbroken version of the iOS operating system.

A jailbreak method for a new version of iOS is not immediately available upon Apple’s release of an iOS update. In addition, soon after a jailbreak is available, Apple will release a new version of iOS that patches the jailbreak method.

As soon as a jailbreak method for a newer version of iOS is available to us, our research and development team begins updating NowSecure Workstation and the agent to support testing of apps on that Jailbroken version of iOS. Until that NowSecure Workstation update is released, however, a device running a non-Jailbroken version of iOS will not function with NowSecure Workstation.

Therefore, we recommend that whenever Apple releases a new major version of iOS (e.g., iOS 8, 9, 10, etc.), NowSecure Workstation users do the following:

  1. Update another device not currently used for testing to the new major iOS version

    • You can also update/downgrade your Jailed testing device to this version, and continue to use it for Jailed testing.
  2. Keep that device on reserve

  3. Refrain from performing any further updates on that device

    • Presently, we are encouraging all spare and Jailed devices to be upgraded to 12.4.

Do not update your primary testing device as they are usable for Jailbroken testing in Workstation (this includes iOS 11.0 - 12.4 or even 10.x devices that you use regularly). We support up to iOS 12.4. Please only update spares or Jailed devices to iOS 12.4 in anticipation of the upcoming jailbreak.

This will ensure that as soon as NowSecure Workstation supports a new major version of iOS, you have a device on hand you can use to test apps on that Jailbroken version of iOS.

iOS Device Update Instructions for iOS 12.4

We expect to support iOS 12.4 jailbreak in the near future.

  1. Download the IPSW firmware file for your device (model number is on the back of the device (format: A1XXX)).
    • Go here to find the model: https://ipsw.me/device-finder.
    • Click on your device type. In the box that appears below, type the model number from the back of the device and click Find My Device.
    • In the box that appears below, you will see a picture of the device and two links. Click the one that says Browse all iOS releases.
    • This will take you to the iOS releases page. On this page you will see a checkmark next to the versions that Apple is still signing. Because of the way that Apple verifies their OS, only currently signed versions will work Presently, we are encouraging all spare devices to be upgraded to 12.4.
    • Save the file in your downloads folder, we are going to need it in Step 3.
  2. Put the device in DFU mode for device restore.

    • Turn on the iDevice and connect it to your Mac.
    • iTunes will open.
    • You will get a message saying a new iOS software version is available. Click CANCEL.
    • Press Power and Home buttons at the same time until the phone turns off.
    • Let go of the Power button but keep pressing Home button. After 10 seconds,your Mac will may give a popup saying that iTunes must check the iPhone software update server to identify this device . Click CHECK.
    • iTunes will pop up an alert that iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. Click OK.
  3. Restore the new iOS version onto the device.

    • Hold the alt/option key while clicking Restore . This will take you to a file explorer window.
    • Select the ipsw file to restore. It will be the file we downloaded in Step 1.
    • A popup will tell you that iTunes will erase your device and restore to the iOS version you selected. This is the last chance to verify that the version is correct. Click Restore. (This step takes a while so be patient and don’t disconnect the device, or you’ll need to start over again. The iTunes progress bar will show extracting, restoring, and lastly, verifying. It will restart the phone when complete.)
    • Verify the version by clicking on Settings -> General -> About on the device

Please contact [email protected] with any questions regarding this issue.