Apple patches Touch ID “Error 53” bug in iOS 9.2.1 update

Yesterday, Apple has announced that it would release a patched update iOS 9.2.1 to fix the “Error 53” message some users experienced, which bricked the phone, while trying to update or restore their iPhones.

Cnet reported that the problem lay among a number of users who had their TouchID sensor fixed at third-party repair centers. While no problems occurred with iPhones that were updated OTA: those that were connected to iTunes failed to restart again, staying bricked.

Apple issued a statement mentioning that the ‘Error 53” message stems from a security test all iPhones go through at the factory before being shipped out. When a part of the TouchID on an iPhone is replaced by a third-party and is not verifiable by Apple, the phone is bricked via iTunes. Apple did however continue to say, “We apologize for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers.”

The newly patched update can be used to restart iPhones that have been bricked on account of the “Error 53” message. One thing you must remember though is that although your bricked iPhone will restart again, the TouchID function will remain disabled or non-functional. If you should find it important to fix your TouchID sensor, you will need to visit an official Apple service station and have them look into your device.

Allowing third party repair centers to replace your TouchID sensor or its parts on your iPhone could lead to compromised security and a personal data breach as your TouchID sensor works as a conduit to pass and verify information over a secure exchange. Despite this, Apple is currently facing a lawsuit for the “Error 53” incident.