Min Zheng, a Chinese hacker and security researcher, has successfully the ability to jailbreak iOS 11.3 by installing Cydia.
Zheng had previously demonstrated an ability to get root shell access on the platform, but a recent tweet from the security research demonstrates that he was able to achieve read and write access in order to jailbreak iOS 11.3 and install Cydia.
Unfortunately for those in the community looking to jailbreak iOS 11.3, Zheng is fully cooperating with Apple when it comes to patching out the problems. As a security researcher for Alibaba, his interest is more in testing and increasing security rather than blowing operating systems wide open and allowing people to jailbreak iOS 11.3 at will.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that it’s now confirmed possible to install Cydia – it’s just a matter of the jailbreaking community reaching the solution on their own rather than with the assistance of Zheng. Any fixes from Apple will come in a patch, and if they choose not to install that patch they can work on the ability to jailbreak iOS 11.3.
The tweet, included below, comes with the words “This time. It’s a real JB now,” confirming that Zheng was able to bypass some of the problems the community was having previously and actually install Cydia on the device. As you can see in the tweet, two screenshots show Cydia running on the iPhone home screen as well as a picture with root shell access showing the existence of Cydia.app in the /Applications folder.
— Min(Spark) Zheng (@SparkZheng) May 8, 2018
It’s exciting to see that the ability to jailbreak iOS 11.3 is there, but it’s important to keep expectations in check. Min Zheng is a security professional that was able to install Cydia using complex methods that used a lot of work in the command line – a process that isn’t exactly feasible for the average device owner.
While jailbreak developers may be able to streamline the process moving forward, the fact that Zheng is cooperating with Apple rather than with the jailbreaking community is certainly going to make the process take longer and it will make it more difficult moving forward into new builds of the operating system.
There’s a possibility that Zheng will eventually make his work public, but given his previous statements and his current cooperation with Apple it’s extremely unlikely that his specific command line work will ever come to light. The ability to jailbreak iOS 11.3 will have to come from the community themselves.
As far as the next public jailbreak goes, we expect to see one for iOS 11.2.6 before people are able to jailbreak iOS 11.3. The iOS 11.3 fix should follow shortly thereafter, but only if Ian Beer’s exploit is able to be turned into a usable jailbreak.
Unfortunately, Apple has already closed the iOS 11.3 signing window, meaning that it will be basically impossible for people to downgrade moving forward. If you haven’t yet upgraded and are looking to jailbreak iOS 11.3, make sure you don’t accidentally move to the latest operating system. As Zheng cooperates with Apple, it may be more difficult to move forward than we think.