iPhone 6 Error 53 Details: Apple Confirms Third-Party Touch ID Repairs Will Brick The Device

iPhone maker has taken the oportunity to clarify that any third-party repair to the Touch ID Home button on the iPhone 9 or 6 Plus will definitely result in the device being bricked when iOS is updated on the device. Apple says the iPhone-breaking Error is a security measure and confirming that this is indeed a delibrate one specifically designed to protect users.

Unofficial repair could be more affecting and the problem appears to have been witnessed by a grwoing number of users who have opted to have some kind of work carried out on the Home/Touch ID button or connecting cable internally. Affected users of some have been receiving mysterious “error 53” message when trying to update the device firmware via iTunes, and haven’t yet found a way to actually get the device back up and running, rather is permanently bricking their iPhones.

Users who used Touch ID on their iPhone 6 fxed by a non Apple technician, and agreed to update the hardware to the most recent version of iOS, are simply facing an issue which essentially prevents all access to the iPhone. Facing the “error 53” message and can’t access the data on the iPhone 6? Since menstions of “error 53” span a few versions of iOS, and of now, it’s unclear specifically which software update began the phone-locking error message.

Spokeswoman of Apple has commented on the issue, referring to protective security features intended to get rid of “malicious” third-party components from potentially compromising a user’s iPhone as the main reason for the “error 53” message.

Confirms this,

We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.”

She adds: “When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorized repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated. With a subsequent update or restore, additional security checks result in an ‘error 53’ being displayed … If a customer encounters an unrecoverable error 53, we recommend contacting Apple support.”

iFixit’s Kyle Wiens has previously shone light on the issue by flashing light that the “error 53” page on his site has been had more than 183,000 hits. Numbers along that provides a fairly decent indication that the issue is being experienced by a far reaching set of users:

The problem occurs if the repairer changes the home button or the cable. Following the software upgrade the phone in effect checks to make sure it is still using the original components, and if it isn’t, it simply locks out the phone.

Apart that, Apple didn’t made any comment on this issue or outlined exactly what the company can do for those affected by the iPhone briking error message. But the explanation from the company actually makes sense. There will likely be a heap of affected users who are outraged by the fact that Apple is purposely running checks to determine whether or not should brick the device. For Apple, all such type of repairs would take for one security breach related to the type to find itself in a publicity stunt relating to security. Mentions of “error 53” have been around since at least last April, where some users have encountered similar issue in software updates as early as iOS 8.3.

Is there anyway to bring the device back to life is still up in the air.

(source: The Guardian)