Following the footsteps of Google Project Zero, whose Ian Beer has released iOS 11.1.2 exploit recently, Chinese Giant’s Alibaba has its own research team working on finding iOS exploits. And they have achieved something that many believed was too hard at this point. According to their blog post, the Pandora Lab from Alibaba has achieved an untethered jailbreak for iOS 11.2 as well as iOS 11.2.1.
A blog post by Alibaba notes how the jailbreak isn’t semi-untethered like those released by Pangu and Luca Todesco in the last two years. Instead, it’s of the untethered variety, which means one could reboot the jailbroken device and continue using third-party add-ons without re-running the jailbreak tool on a computer.
Perhaps more importantly, the untethered jailbreak also supports Apple’s previous iOS 11.2 firmware. Given that Alibaba’s Pandora jailbreak works on iOS 11.2-11.2.1, we can gather that it doesn’t utilize Ian Beer’s recently-publicized tfp0 exploit, which only works on iOS 11.0-11.1.2. It seems that Pandora instead uses security exploits found by Alibaba themselves, which they’ve purportedly already reported to Apple already.
Song Yang, the head researcher with Alibaba, confirmed that the Pandora jailbreak is only meant for security research and won’t get released to the public. As unfortunate as that is, this proof of concept illuminates how it’s still possible to jailbreak Apple’s latest operating system running on the company’s newest handset despite ongoing Fort Knox-like security measures.
While it is easy to brush this news off as another attempt from a security team to announce their jailbreak to get featured in headlines and not providing it to general public, this one is important because of its untethered nature. If nothing else, Pandora Lab’s jailbreak for iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 has proven that an untethered jailbreak is still possible.
For now, it looks as though the jailbreak community will need to continue waiting for a public tool. With a little luck, perhaps we’ll see another season of jailbreaking. Will you jailbreak iOS 11 if a compatible jailbreak tool surfaces? Let us know in the comments section below.