Apple ceases iOS 14.7.1 code signing following release of iOS 14.8 and iOS 15

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Apple on Monday stopped signing iOS 14.7.1 code, effectively putting a halt to downgrades from iOS 14.8 and the recently released iOS 15.

Apple pushed out iOS 14.7.1 in late July as a patch addressing an issue that prevented Apple Watch from being unlocked by an iPhone with Touch ID.

More importantly, the point release also fixed a security vulnerability that allowed attackers to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. The security hole was reportedly used in a zero-click attack deployed in NSO Group's Pegasus hacking tool.

Apple routinely stops signing legacy code after the release of a new iOS build to protect customers from nefarious actors attempting to take advantage of newly discovered vulnerabilities. Preventing users from downloading older code also allows Apple to keep more iOS devices on the latest, feature-rich software.

Apple on Monday released iOS 15 with a slew of new features, improvements and user interface tweaks. New features include Live Text and Visual Look Up, Focus, upgraded Apple Maps, Health app updates, iCloud+ integration, a Safari redesign and more.

The latest iOS 14 version, iOS 14.8, saw release last week with a fix for another vulnerability exploited by Pegasus.

Apple earlier this year said it won't force users onto iOS 15, noting it will continue to provide security updates for iOS 14 after the launch of the new operating system. Users who remain on iOS 14 will see two software update choices in Settings, one for the latest iOS 14 version with bug fixes and another for iOS 15.