Pangu Team talks money, discrimination and more in open letter

Pangu Yosemite icon

The Pangu Team, which has been responsible for multiple iOS 7 and iOS 8 jailbreaks, posted an open letter to its website on Friday. The letter is entitled “Jailbreak Should not Tolerate Regional Discrimination,” and it talks about discrimination, rumors regarding Pangu, and more.

It appears much of the motivation behind the post comes from comments made by hacker Stefan Esser, better known as I0n1c. The team says during his talk at this year’s Syscan conference, Esser made several comments that they felt were racist and “full of morbid imaginations.”

The letter is of course worth reading in full, which you can do here, but we’ve highlighted some of the more interesting tidbits below.

  • The $1 million rumor – it’s been said that the Pangu Team’s sudden interest in jailbreaking stemmed from the desire to make money—the rumored $1 million figure comes up quite often. But Pangu says this is completely untrue, and that the little sponsorship money it does receive mostly goes towards testing devices, software development and servers to facilitate heavy traffic and downloads.
  • Pangu doesn’t buy vulnerabilities – “in the first version of Pangu 7, among a number of other vulnerabilities, we used kernel information leaks discussed in Stefan Esser’s training course,” the team explains. However, Pangu removed these exploits after receiving criticism from Esser, and it has since relied mostly on its own exploits. “We have the ability and knowledge to continue to find more vulnerabilities and develop untethered jailbreak tools. We are very confident that we do not need to buy any vulnerability.”
  • Pangu doesn’t use stolen/leaked certificates – addressing rumors that it has stolen enterprise certificates from other hackers, the team says that it has only ever used expired/donated enterprise certificates. These certificates are used to initiate the jailbreaking process.
  • Regarding the obfuscation of its code – “we did obfuscate the code of our jailbreak tools,” Pangu says, referencing the accusations that it did so out of malicious or selfish intent. “But was mainly to prevent the jailbreak exploits from being used, and to prevent Apple from easily understanding and fixing the vulnerabilities, and thus far it has really worked.”
  • Moving forward without discrimination – “Yes, we are Chinese. We are grateful to the jailbreak community, and we are also proud of being a member of the jailbreak community and being able to contribute to the community. We were so excited that Pangu 7 and Pangu 8 were downloaded by many millions of times from all over the world. We hope the jailbreak community should not judge a work for its developers’ race, creed, color, or religion.”

To read more on the Pangu Team’s contributions to jailbreaking, click here, and for more information regarding the current state of the iOS 8.2 jailbreak, click here.