iOS 8.3 Prevents iFunBox, iExplorer and Similar Tools From Accessing Apps

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple has changed security settings in iOS 8.3 that prevent file managers and transfer utilities such as iFunBox, iTools, iExplorer, iBackupBot and PhoneView from gaining access to app directories on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The change breaks current versions of transfer utilities for OS X and Windows, forcing many developers to release new versions of their software with workarounds that restore at least partial sandbox access.
"iOS 8.3 ruined our freedom of controlling data in our installed Apps and Games," writes iFunBox in a Facebook post. "Apple blocked access of the entire sandbox directory of every installed App since iOS 8.3. Previously only writing is block in executable directory. Now we totally lost the control of Apps on our own devices. We are investigating the situation. Before there is a solution, iFunbox will fail to open data directory of any App if the device is not jailbroken."
iFunBox was one of the first utilities to be updated over the weekend with a partial fix, with the latest version 2.95 allowing all apps with "iTunes File Sharing" enabled, such as iFileExpress or VLC player, to be opened for sandbox browsing per usual through the utility. Access to other apps will require jailbreaking. iFunBox 2.95 also allows any music file type, such as MP3, to be imported as a ringtone.

Macroplant has also updated iExplorer to be iOS 8.3 ready for OS X and Windows.

The change does not affect users that jailbreak their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as doing so enables OpenSSH to be installed for complete filesystem privileges and command line access. File transfers between a jailbroken iOS device and Mac or PC can still be completed as usual, although keep in mind that no jailbreak is available for iOS 8.3 and downgrading will soon no longer be possible after Apple stops signing iOS 8.2 in the near future.

Article Link: iOS 8.3 Prevents iFunBox, iExplorer and Similar Tools From Accessing Apps
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,502
6,175
Australia
Noooooooooooooooooooooo :'(

This was the only way to perform a clean install without loosing all your App data. FREAKING APPLE.
 

gpat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
976
1,253
Italy
This lowers the odds of me getting an iPhone even further. It's ironically as unlikely as me switching away from Mac.
 

stan1028

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2011
111
62
PhoneClean were also not accessible and couldn't clean any cache data. >_>
 

unibility

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2012
593
491
Glad I snucked in and hacked Real Tacing 3 and put $2,468,567,654 Gold Coins before the update. ###
 

andrea81

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2013
36
1
Just checked if I still can clean caches with PhoneExpander... and nope, they are all seen as 0kb in size. Oh well... :(
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,244
888
Maybe they are blocking all of these apps to add their own file explorer in iOS 9 ;)
 
Last edited:

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
this is so annoying especially since most games still don't save the score in iCloud (why is that btw?) and u lose everything if u want to do a clean install.
 

kupkakez

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2011
1,868
723
Austin, TX
This blows. I use iFunBox to transfer saved game data around and now I cannot.

Lately I am really really really contemplating testing android. :mad:
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,397
3,840
That explains why iMazing doesn't work. Hopefully they get it back up and running soon. IMazing was pretty handy at making an iPad more useful as a computer.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
And its exactly this sort of behaviour that is pushing me further and further away from Apple. With every mandatory update, something breaks. Quite honestly, it's weak and I can do without it.
 

ignar

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2013
6
0
This blows. There are many Games and Apps (especially old ones) do not offer cloud save or data export features. I've used PhoneView and iMazing to address this issue, and it's not working any more.
 

MR-LIZARD

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2012
101
154
UK
I noticed this after the update during my day job in forensics. This is actually a positive thing for people who want more security. Previously this loop hole allowed additional data to be recovered from the App areas that were off limits to the backup service.

Apple haven't done it to stop people using 3rd party tools as such. I believe they've done it to make iOS even more secure for themselves and their customers by stopping potential snooping through people's cache folders etc.

I think it relates to the item in the 8.3 security change log that reads as follows:

Backup
Available for: iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch (5th generation) and later, iPad 2 and later

Impact: An attacker may be able to use the backup system to access restricted areas of the file system

Description: An issue existed in the relative path evaluation logic of the backup system. This issues was addressed through improved path evaluation.

CVE-ID
CVE-2015-1087 : TaiG Jailbreak Team
 

NMBob

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2007
1,189
911
New Mexico
iExplorer is having the same "problem". A dialog box comes up saying that an update coming soon will fix this issue.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,293
5,924
San Jose, CA
Apple haven't done it to stop people using 3rd party tools as such. I believe they've done it to make iOS even more secure for themselves and their customers by stopping potential snooping through people's cache folders etc.
Agreed, I think this is mostly a good thing (see e.g. Zdziarski's reporting last year on how this could be abused). Another reason might be to prevent people from hacking in-app purchases without paying.

Note that you can still extract app data from iTunes backup files, e.g. using iExplorer. So it is still possible to save text messages etc.
 

vmachiel

macrumors 68000
Feb 15, 2011
1,745
1,298
Holland
What security problem gets solved by this, that is not already solved by not plugin your phone into untrusted computers?
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,043
14,859
Central U.S.
+1000
It's the best option for install clean system and preserve apps data.
Yeah, I've had to do this in the past for the apps that don't use iCloud, which is many of them. It's also handy for when an app is bugging out and you really need to get some files out of it. Before they had time-lapse in iOS I used this app and it took thousands of low-res jpegs to use to build a timelapse. But the thing kept failing to build the video and there was no way to get the photos out except by doing this.

Maybe they are blocking all of these apps to add their own field explorer in iOS 9 ;)
Hah, keep dreaming. Apple doesn't want anyone to ever access the file system. They want the file system to just disappear into the background, which unfortunately means that even if the iPad gets really powerful, professionals still won't use it because we can't manage our projects. If Apple is going to prevent access to the file system, the least they could do is provide a way for people to manage files between apps and projects.

this is so annoying especially since most games still don't save the score in iCloud (why is that btw?) and u lose everything if u want to do a clean install.
Well from what I've read iCloud is really inconsistent and kind of a pain to deal with from a developers point of view. I read something about them fixing some of the issues in iOS 8 with the way that things are stored. Ironically many iOS developers have been turning to Windows Azure for cloud syncing, which I've heard works pretty well. If things actually synced then this would be much less of an issue. Another example of Apple getting the basics wrong when it comes to services. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple as much as the next drooling fanboy, but their services are still not where they should be.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,397
3,840
I noticed this after the update during my day job in forensics. This is actually a positive thing for people who want more security. Previously this loop hole allowed additional data to be recovered from the App areas that were off limits to the backup service.

I think it relates to the item in the 8.3 security change log that reads as follows:

Backup
Available for: iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch (5th generation) and later, iPad 2 and later

Impact: An attacker may be able to use the backup system to access restricted areas of the file system

Description: An issue existed in the relative path evaluation logic of the backup system. This issues was addressed through improved path evaluation.

CVE-ID
CVE-2015-1087 : TaiG Jailbreak Team
I agree on the whole it's a good thing but they should make it easier to access the functionality that these apps provide. I noticed during the public beta that iMazing stopped working and I never used any functionality that isn't possible without iTunes File Sharing. It's just that iMazing has a better user interface than iTunes, which years later is still just as clunky as ever at copying files to and from a PC. If Apple isn't going to release a file system for iOS they should either make iTunes work better or allow third parties to add that functionality.
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,191
2,750
Just ridiculous. Several newer games use cloud sync either via iCloud or their custom one, so I don't worry about those. I know people are tired of hearing about this game, but Angry Birds comes to mind. Rovio does offer their own cloud sync service, but not across all their Angry Birds game.

I can understand Apple trying to be more secure, but accessing game saves was a crucial part for me in restoring my phone from new.
 

sbcdk

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2012
104
76
Freemium nearly killed my interest in iOS gaming. Loosing the option to do a clean install every now and then without loosing my gamesaves took away whatever interest I had left.
 
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