If you have been seeing rumors around the internet about developers being able to jailbreak iOS 10, it turns out it could be true! According to a recent review of the Beta OS by MIT Technology Review, the reason for this is due to an unencrypted kernel. This what can only be called an oversight by Apple allows anyone with a little knowledge to examine the code and makes iOS 10 vulnerable to security flaws and jailbreaking.
iOS 10 Goodies Exposed!
If this is an oversight by Apple it is a relatively huge one, because not only does it allow the code to be examined, but it also leaves the goodies exposed. And according to Mathew Solnik who is a security researcher
“Now that this is in the public realm, people will be able to it [and] potentially find ways around it,” he says …
Furthermore, Jonathan Levin, who is an author of a book that looks at the working of iOS has said:
What this has done is reduced the complexity of the reverse engineering considerably” [He goes on to speculate that] someone of a probable high stature at Apple has screwed up royally.”
An Unencrypted Kernel in iOS 10?
To many experts, this oversight by Apple may not be that at all, instead, it could have been done on purpose. As not all experts agree on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. If Apple has intentionally released the first Beta version of iOS 10 with an unencrypted kernel, then it could have been done to allow those testing the software to find vulnerabilities in its core code.
One iOS security expert Jonathan Zdziarski has suggested that Apple may have done this intentionally:
“Opening up its code would make sense in light of Apple’s recent faceoff with the FBI, Zdziarski notes. Originally the agency wanted Apple to help penetrate the San Bernardino iPhone, but it dropped that plan after finding a third party who could break into the device. It was the latest evidence of an expanding trade that sells software exploits to law enforcement. Opening up iOS for anyone to examine could weaken that market by making it harder for certain groups to hoard knowledge of vulnerabilities,” Zdziarski says.
What does a Kernel do?
At the heart of any iOS component, you will find the kernel, and this piece of software / code is equipped with the ability to control how a program is able to use an iPhones or iPads hardware. And also it is there to enforce the security of the system, which is something that obviously either by design or flaw is not happening in iOS 10.
What do you think, is this an oversight by someone at Apple? Or is it a ruse to weed out any potentially serious security flaws in Beta 1? Personally, I think it is the latter, I can’t see Apple making this kind of mistake after what happened with the FBI, and the forced breaking of the San Bernadino mass shooters iPhone, can you?