Potentially some wonderful news for iOS device owners who love the wonderful world of jailbreaking.
Liang Chen of KeenLab has demonstrated a functional jailbreak for Apple’s latest flagship device, which is iPhone X. The jailbreak was shown off during the recent POC2017 event in Seoul, South Korea, and was shown executing the jailbreak code on Apple’s latest iOS 11.1.1 firmware which was released only yesterday.
There is definitely a lot of excitement flying around the jailbreak community now that this demo, as well as the fact that KeenLab clearly has the necessary exploits and escalation privileges to produce a jailbreak, has been made public. However, it is worth mentioning that there was little information provided about the jailbreak apart from the visibility of it in the video of the on-stage presentation at POC2017. Liang Chen hasn’t put together any write-up on the situation and definitely hasn’t publicly released any information about exploits or vulnerabilities being used to create the jailbreak.
The reality of the situation is that it probably remains very unlikely that this jailbreak will actually see the light of day in terms of being released into the public domain and being consumed by iOS device owners running iOS 11.1.1 around the world. Given the nature of the conference, and the fact that the jailbreak is actually attributed to a relatively well-known security company in KeenLab who has previously demoed jailbreaks for both iOS 11 betas and iOS 10.3.2, it’s much more likely that the exploits and vulnerabilities will be sold off to other companies, or directly to Apple itself as part of the financially lucrative Bug Bounty Program that the company runs, or just be kept for private research purposes only.
Still, even if the above happens, it’s worth remembering that the jailbreak community isn’t the hive of activity that it once was and that we need to take all of the small wins on board in the hope that they eventually turn into something bigger. This jailbreak shows us that iOS 11.1.1 does have vulnerabilities which can be exploited to produce a jailbreak not just on any older device, but on the A11 Bionic-powered 2017 flagship iPhone X. Given that last few iOS 10.x public jailbreaks have all had issues on the then flagship hardware in iPhone 7, the fact this one runs on iPhone X is big news.
We may never actually see this particular jailbreak make it to the light of day from a public release perspective, but the existence of it should definitely be enough to spur other researchers and specialists into pursuing something that can actually be released to the community.
Imagine a wave of new tweaks taking advantage of Face ID and gestures on iPhone X? Now that would be awesome to have. Lets just hope that this is just a start of something bigger to come for general consumers.