Technology

iOS 11.4 Jailbreak On Cards? Alibaba Researcher Discovers Two Bugs

Download iOS 11.4 Jailbreak Electra Tool
Image Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

Currently, the most reliable jailbreak available to iOS 11 users is CoolStar’s Electra tool that supports devices running iOS 11.3.1 through iOS 11.4 beta 3. A lot of people in the jailbreak community are waiting for an iOS 11.4 jailbreak tool, but the scene doesn’t look so promising. Now a respected security researcher has renewed our interest in the iOS 11.4 jailbreak.

Zheng himself unlike to release a public jailbreak tool

Min ‘Spark’ Zheng, a security researcher at Alibaba, outlined two new bugs in iOS 11.4 during his presentation at the DefCon 26 hacking conference in Las Vegas. Spark’s presentation has sparked speculations that we may eventually see an iOS 11.4 jailbreak release, maybe after the iOS 12 rolls out to the public next month.

Min Zheng’s presentation was titled Fasten your seatbelts: We are escaping iOS 11 sandbox. You can find his complete presentation on GitHub. His presentation suggests both the bugs were reported to Apple on June 7th. The iPhone maker patched them in iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12 beta. But the bugs are still present in the iOS 11.4.

Will Min Zheng – or someone else – use these vulnerabilities to create and release a full-fledged iOS 11.4 jailbreak tool? Zheng is a security researcher who discovers bugs for research purposes, not for jailbreaking. He himself is unlikely to release an iOS 11.4 jailbreak to the public.

However, another hacker interested in liberating iOS devices for the broader community could put in the hard work to put together a public jailbreak tool. It’s possible, but it’s too early to say who will take up the challenge.

Azad expected to talk about iOS 11.4 jailbreak next month

A developer going by the name Brandon Azad is also expected to talk about a potential iOS 11.4 jailbreak at a security conference in Hong Kong next month. Azad’s presentation at the beVX Conference is titled Crashing to root: How to escape the iOS sandbox using abort ().”

Azad will demonstrate how to exploit the CVE-2018-4280 bug in iOS 11.4, which Apple fixed in the iOS 11.4.1. The bug is attributed to Brandon Azad himself in Apple’s security release.

A potential iOS 11.4 jailbreak is not outside the realm of possibility, but it may be a long wait. Even if a developer releases the 11.4 jailbreak tool in the coming months, very few users would stay on the iOS 11.4 firmware after the public rollout of iOS 12.

Notably, Apple stopped signing iOS 11.4 last month following the release of iOS 11.4.1. If you have upgraded to iOS 11.4.1 or iOS 12 beta, there is no way to go back to iOS 11.4. Potential jailbreak users are most affected when Apple stops signing an older firmware. We are unlikely to see any further iOS 11.x releases as iOS 12 is just around the corner.

The iOS 12 will bring a number of new features and performance improvements. It will offer improved augmented reality, Memoji, Siri Shortcuts, better parental controls, and Screen Time. The Screen Time feature will let you see how much time you spend on your iPhone or iPad and within individual apps. Users will also be able to set daily time limits on individual apps. Apple has also promised that iOS 12 would offer 70% faster swipe to the camera and 50% faster keyboard display, even on older iPhones and iPads.