The checkra1n team is best known for their checkm8 bootrom exploit-based checkra1n jailbreak tool, which just yesterday picked up support for Linux after being macOS-only for several months. We’ve known for quite some time that the checkra1n team intended to delve into more than just jailbreaking with the checkm8 bootrom exploit, and the fruits of such research are finally starting to surface.
The checkra1n team took to Twitter early Thursday morning to announce the initial release of PongoKit, a highly experimental and developer-only SDK that should help permit the deployment of other platforms on checkm8 vulnerable iOS devices:
Here is the description of the project via its own GitHub page:
An SDK for pongoOS. This is currently pretty much experimental.
You can build the module at example/ with an iOS cross-compiler on Linux or a Mac. Refer to scripts/ to see how to load modules.
About a week ago, checkra1n developer Luca Todesco teased images of Linux running on his pwned iPhone by way of PongoOS:
Later on, Tosdesco shared an image of simplefb running on his pwned iPhone using a similar means:
Linux is a highly versatile operating system that easily plugs into many types of hardware, but in theory, the checkm8 exploit should also make it possible to run alternative mobile operating systems on vulnerable devices, including that of Android. As PongoKit matures and more APIs are added, we can only speculate that this could inch closer to fruition.
As of right now, the checkra1n team warns that PongoKit is “primitive” and that only experienced developers should even attempt to use it. This release is likely to be buggy, confusing, and otherwise challenging to use for anyone besides someone who knows what they’re doing. We can’t stress this enough.
In any case, it’s still very cool to see something unique being done with the checkm8 exploit. Perhaps it won’t be too long now before jailbreakers are able to dual-boot operating systems on their iPhones.
Are you excited about the PongoKit project and what it entails for iOS device users? Discuss in the comments.