iOS 8 has been a really memorable iOS firmware for all of us. Not just because it was the best iOS firmware of its time, which is obvious, but mainly for the reason that the jailbreak scene was very active during the time if iOS 8. It will not be an exaggeration to say that it was literally raining jailbreaks when iOS 8.3 was released. TaiG and PP jailbreak tools had covered the jailbreak community and soon they also provided support to the iOS 8.4, which came with Apple Music.
Image : Pangu 8.4.1 Jailbreak Download
But iOS 8.4.1 changed it all by patching the jailbreak exploits used in the TaiG and PP jailbreak tools, thus making iOS unjailbreakable for the time being. However, the Pangu team entered the jailbreak scenario after a long incidence and demonstrated an iOS 8.4.1 jailbreak, proving the fact that iOS 8.4.1 was indeed jailbreakable.
Pangu Team Teased Pangu 8.4.1 Jailbreak at HackPwn :
After being inactive for a really long period, the Pangu team made its comeback at the HackPwn Security Conference 2015, where it demonstrated the iOS 8.4.1 jailbreak. This shattered all the previous beliefs that iOS 8.4.1 was unjailbreakable.
The demonstration was a very short one, and it is obvious that it was only meant to prove the point that iOS 84.1 was not unjailbreakable. Obviously, Pangu team was not going to release the jailbreak so close to the iOS 9 release, as that would have meant giving a chance to Apple for fixing the exploits, which would have made iOS 9 even harder to jailbreak. Therefore, it was a really wise move to not reveal the exploits.
One thing to notice here was that this demonstration was done just a week after the release of iOS 8.4.1. Considering the fact that a very large number of exploits were fixed in the firmware, Pangu did uncover the new vulnerabilities very quickly. And this was not it, as the Pangu team soon published a new report about iOS 8.4.1.
Pangu Unveiled Unfixed Vulnerabilities in 8.4.1 :
Recently, a new report was posted by Pangu team member windknown regarding the iOS 8.4.1 vulnerabilities. Even though iOS 8.4.1 will exist no more than a week now, this news is important because it indirectly hints towards the possibility of the Pangu team working on the iOS 9 jailbreak. The report published on Pangu’s official blog outlined the several vulnerabilities that were found by Pangu in iOS 8.4.1.
Titled as iOS 8.4.1 Kernel Vulnerabilities in AppleHDQGasGaugeControl, the blog post highlights three different bugs found in iOS 8.4.1 by Pangu, some which were probably overseen by Apple. These vulnerabilities included a heap overflow bug, an out-of-bound memory access bug, and a stack overflow bug.
Highlighting these vulnerabilities, windknown stated that:
When auditing iOS kernel executable, we found that the code quality of com.apple.driver.AppleHDQGasGaugeControl is very bad. In this blog, we will disclose 3 vulnerabilities in this kernel extension on the latest public iOS (version 8.4.1). More importantly, one of these bugs is a perfect heap overflow vulnerability that allows us to defeat all kernel mitigations and gain code execution in the kernel, just by exploiting this single vulnerability.
Looks like Apple hadn’t missed out all of these three vulnerabilities, as two of those bugs were fixed in the latest iOS 9 beta release by Apple. We really appreciate Pangu team’s efforts to keep the report as easy as possible for non-programmers to follow. The vulnerabilities have been explained in a simple way so that regular jailbreak users can understand them.
Pangu 9 :
It cannot be said that the report is useless, as it indicates that the Pangu team is indeed taking some serious participation in the iOS 9 jailbreak by uncovering the vulnerabilities. Such iOS security research is invaluable for jailbreakers as it enables them to come up with new jailbreaks. iOS 9 full version will be released a few days later, and it will be really exciting to see which jailbreak team announces an iOS 9 jailbreak first.