The world of iOS jailbreaking is a complicated and at times, dark one. While things are not quite the Wild West that they once were, the cat and mouse chase between hackers and Apple’s own security teams is never likely to end.
What that means jailbreaking will continue despite Apple’s ongoing attempts to thwart it.
Today, Apple released iOS 11.3.1 which plugs another security flaw and it credited Ian Beer with its detection. If that name rings a bell, it should. He’s the guy who released the exploit which allows iOS 11.0-11.1.2 to be jailbroken today.
So who is Ian Beer? That’s a good question. Beer is a security researcher in Google’s Project Zero team and he made his iOS 11.0-11.1.2 exploit public after reporting it first to Apple, of course. The company had already patched it in a subsequent iOS release before Beer made the exploit public, but he’s the one we can credit for the current jailbreak that many people are using. With iOS 11.3.1, it would appear that Apple has patched another one of his exploits and even went so far as to credit him on the Security Content page for iOS 11.3.1. What this means is that Ian Beer and his team at Google likely reported this to Apple, as a result of which we have it not only patched in iOS 11.3.1, but also has Apple crediting Beer for the discovery:
Available for: iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation
Impact: An application may be able to gain elevated privileges
Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved error handling.
CVE-2018-4206: Ian Beer of Google Project Zero
Of course, it’s too early to know what will happen next but if history is to repeat itself then it is of course possible that Ian Beer will release his most recent exploit to the community, allowing hackers to turn that into a new jailbreak that would encompass iOS 11.3 for the first time.
Will that happen? We don’t know, but we can hope, provided that this “application may be able to gain elevated privileges” exploit is capable of giving root access. Fingers crossed!