iOS 12 on Apple’s New iPhone XS Jailbroken by Pangu Group
This is a bit of a bad news for Apple; iOS 12 on Apple’s new iPhone XS has suffered a jailbreak, courtesy a Chinese hacking group.
It’s Pangu, the Chinese hacking group that has made news with this jailbreak. The Hacker News reports, “The Chinese hacking team Pangu is back and has once again surprised everyone with a jailbreak for iOS 12 running on the brand-new iPhone XS.”
Pangu, the hacking group that’s known for its ability to jailbreak Apple devices, had remained quiet for some time. The last time we got to hear of the group was almost three years ago, in 2018. The Hacker News report reads, “The last jailbreak for Apple iOS devised by the Pangu team was released in October 2015, when the expert published the untethered jailbreak tool for iOS 9.”
iOS jailbreaking, as we know, allows the removing of all the software restrictions imposed by the Apple operating system. Through jailbreaking, a user can get root access to the iOS and can also use it to download/install additional applications, themes etc from third-party application stores. The negative side of jailbreaking is that it could expose mobile devices to many threats. Malware, such as KeyRaider and YiSpector could attack and compromise jailbroken devices.
On September 27, 2018, Android/iOS Senior Security Engineer Min(Spark) Zheng had tweeted- “iOS 12 Jailbreak on iPhone XS by @PanguTeam ! Bypass PAC mitigation on the new A12 chip. That’s amazing!!!” The tweet had two screenshots, showing a working jailbreak achieved by a Pangu group researcher on iPhone XS.
The Hacker News report, which also mentions the tweet, says, “The Tweet also revealed that the iOS 12 jailbreak works by bypassing a functional PAC (Pointer authentication codes) mitigation implemented in the new Apple’s A12 Bionic chip.”
Security experts have said that the jailbreak might work on the iPhone XS Max as well, because of the hardware similarities between the two phones (iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max).
However, there has been no official announcement from the Pangu group about the jailbreak; hence it’s not yet confirmed whether this iOS jailbreak would be released to the public.
A technical issue with the jailbreaking of Apple devices is that it would be a violation of the End User License Agreement with Apple. So, once you’re exposed to malware and you suffer a data breach consequent to the jailbreaking, there won’t be any assistance from Apple because of the violation of the License Agreement.