Pangu team publishes a report highlighting kernel vulnerabilities in iOS 8.4.1

Pangu iOS 8 icon

Pangu team member, windknown, has posted a report on the official Pangu blog outlining several vulnerabilities in iOS 8.4.1, the latest public iOS firmware for iPhones and iPads.

The writeup, entitled iOS 8.4.1 Kernel Vulnerabilities in AppleHDQGasGaugeControl, highlights three different bugs found in iOS 8.4.1: a stack overflow bug, an out-of-bound memory access bug, and a heap overflow bug.

Here is what windknown had to say about the found vulnerabilities:

When auditing iOS kernel executable, we found that the code quality of 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.

Fortunately, it looks as if Apple is already well aware of some of the bugs, as two of them are fixed in the latest iOS 9 beta.

It’s a enlightening report that’s fairly easy to follow even if you’re not a hacker or programmer. Windknown does a good job of explaining the particulars of each of the three vulnerabilities.

Although the days of iOS 8 are numbered, this type of research tells me that hackers are still very much engaged in the various security research needed to accomplish a future jailbreak down the line.

It’ll be interesting to see how things go once iOS 9 is released to the public.

Source: Pangu blog