iOS contains many layers of encryption. This page details how to remove the encryption wrapper around each file in the IPSW file. A decrypted ramdisk is required to obtain the key for the root filesystem, but not to simply decrypt it with an existing key.
For more history, see Firmware Keys.
This section details the decryption of the ramdisks in an IPSW file. The listed console commands are applicable to the IMG2 or IMG3 files under
With the release of the iPhone, the IMG2 files weren't encrypted. So, in order to use them, all you need to do is remove the 2048 byte (2 KiB) 8900 header from the file. You can do this with either a hex editor, or open up a console and run
dd if=input of=output bs=512 skip=4 conv=sync
Once the header has been stripped, you will be left with either an IMG2 file or a mountable HFS filesystem.
1.1.x - 2.0b3[edit source]
With the release of the iPod touch, Apple added a layer of encryption around the IMG2. The decryption key wasn't obscured however, and a simple analysis of iBoot by Zibri revealed the 0x837 key.
In order to decrypt them, you need to remove the 2048 byte (2 KiB) 8900 header from, then decrypt the resulting file. You can do this with either a hex editor, or open up a console and run
dd if=input of=stripped bs=512 skip=4 conv=sync
Once the header is stripped, you need to do the actual decryption. The ramdisk is encrypted using AES-128 with cipher block chaining (CBC). The key is the 0x837 key with no IV. To decrypt, open up a console and run
openssl enc -d -in stripped -out output -aes-128-cbc -K 188458a6d15034dfe386f23b61d43774 -iv 0
Once decrypted, you will be left with either an IMG2 file or a mountable HFS filesystem.
2.0b4 - 3.0b5[edit source]
With the fourth beta of 2.0, Apple introduced the IMG3 file format, replacing the broken IMG2 file format. This format was soon reversed and img3decrypt[src] was created by Steven Smith (@stroughtonsmith) on 21 August 2008. His code was later implemented into xpwntool[src]. In order to decrypt an IMG3 file, open a console and run one of the commands depending on your program choice:
img3decrypt e input output iv key xpwntool input output -k key -iv iv
The IV and key for a specific firmware is available through the Firmware Keys page or from the
Info.plist file underneath PwnageTool's
Once decrypted, you will be left with either a raw binary blob. If
input was a ramdisk,
output will be a mountable HFS filesystem.
3.0 GM/3.0[edit source]
OS X Snow Leopard introduced the HFS compressed disk image. With 3.0 (what beta?), Apple began using Snow Leopard to package the ramdisks. This results in some zero sized files in the disk image if you don't use Snow Leopard or newer. A discussion on extracting those files is available on the talk page.
With the 3.0 Golden Master (7A341) and 3.0.1, Apple messed up and, instead of using the application processor-specific GID Key, used a pseudo-GID of 5f650295e1fffc97ce77abd49dd955b3 to encrypt the KBAG. This makes obtaining the keys for this version dead simple. Once you have decrypted the KBAG, decryption using the keys in it is the same as above.
Business as usual, but keys and IVs have to be decrypted on the device still, unlike with the new S5L8900 KBAGs. Apple incorrectly assumed that by encrypting iBEC and iBSS they were being sly. They were not. You can decrypt those on a 2.2.1 aes setup no problem whatsoever.
The iPhone 3GS firmware files are interesting. They have two KBAGs, which use AES-256 instead of the S5L8900 and S5L8720 that are using AES-128 still. The first KBAG has an identifier in it's header indicating that it is to be decrypted with the GID Key on SoCs that have a CPFM of 03 (Production & Secure), and the second seems to be for decrypting with SoCs that have a CPFM of 01 or 00 (Development & Secure or Development & Insecure), as the CPFM seems to change which GID Key it uses. CPFMs of lower than 01 are normally prototypes in the DVT stage or lower. For those that don't know how AES256 works, this now means that the first 0x10 bytes are the IV, and the remaining 0x20 bytes (not 0x10 anymore!) are the key.
S5L8960 and later[edit source]
With S5L8960, Apple changed the file format to use IMG4 files instead of IMG3. Decryption can be performed by running the following in a command line application (make sure you have the img4lib):
img4 -i INPUT -o OUTPUT -k ivkey
INPUT is the file you want to decrypt, OUTPUT is the file you want to output once decrypted and ivkey is the IV and Key together for the file you are trying to decrypt.
This section details the decryption of the Secure Enclave Processor in an IPSW file. The listed console commands are applicable to the IM4P files under
With the release of checkra1n 0.12.0, pongoOS has been updated to include Pangu's project blackbird which allows the exploitation of the Secure Enclave Processor to A10 and A10X devices (for now, others will be supported in the future) from iOS/tvOS 12.0 - 14.2. To decrypt it, you'll need to enter pongoOS and insert the KBAG. This is done by compiling the
pongoterm binary from the checkra1n project pongoOS then execute a few commands in Terminal.
On macOS, if the checkra1n app is inside the
Alternatively, you could right-click the checkra1n.app and select "Show Package Contents" then navigate to
/Contents/MacOS/ and drag the checkra1n binary directly inside Terminal then adding
-cp to the end.
Otherwise, with Linux you can install the latest via the repository then launching the checkra1n CLI:
sudo checkra1n -cp
Once done, use a USB to connect and place the device in DFU Mode. The process will begin with checkra1n running the device exploitation stages until a device boot is initiated. The Apple logo will show following the checkra1n logo shortly after along with some text on the screen. From here the user can execute the
pongoterm command to enter the PongoOS shell.
Inside this shell you can type in
sep auto which will start the Secure Enclave Processor exploitation process.
Then inserting the KBAG by typing in
sep decrypt KBAG.
PongoOS will display the input KBAG from the IM4P file and output the decrypted IV and Key.