The recent release of the PanGu jailbreak for Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 7.1.1 was welcomed by many users seeking a jailbreak for their iPhone 5S and iPad Air devices. But others bemoaned its arrival, fearing its public launch could reduce the chances of there being a future jailbreak for Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system, iOS 8.
Those opposed to a public release of the PanGu iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak have reason to be concerned, since it publicly exposed two iOS security bugs that could have been used to make a future jailbreak, according to a tweet by iOS developer Steven De Franco (@iH8sn0w).
.@rhcp011235 Only about two exploits (code sign and kernel) and the syslogd chown vuln being disclosed at blackhat in August.
â€” iH8sn0w (@iH8sn0w) June 23, 2014
On the other hand, De Franco’s tweet gives the impression that other iOS security exploits may still exist for a future iOS 8 jailbreak.
Among the biggest detractors of the PanGu iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak was German iOS security researcher Stefan Esser, also known as i0n1c. However, unlike others who opposed the release of the latest PanGu jailbreak, Esser protested its release because he felt it was created using software bugs that were disclosed during one of his own iOS security training sessions.
Anyway I am pretty sure certain other companies will be pissed right now, too. Because the bug was known outside of my training class, too.
â€” Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) June 23, 2014
BTW I wish everyone of my followers who installed Pangu much fun with malware from China :P
â€” Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) June 24, 2014
In May, Esser teased users about the existence of an iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak, but he chose not to release it to the public. Instead, he used the publicity surrounding his jailbreak to promote iOS security training classes, where the PanGu team learned about the iOS exploits.
Despite some complaints about the release of the iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak, PanGu was released to the public on Monday, giving iOS users around the world the opportunity to tweak and modify their iOS devices outside of Apple's approved methods.
While the exploits used by PanGu are unlikely to remain open when Apple eventually launches iOS 8 this fall, developers such as Andrea Bentivegna (@Blackgeektuto) have already repurposed the PanGu jailbreak to work with iOS 8 beta 2 on an iPod Touch, giving jailbreak developers new ways to tinker with the next-generation mobile operating system.
iOS 8 Beta 2 on iPod 5,1.. I'm modifying patches of PanGu... pic.twitter.com/Si63MxwYAZ
â€” BlackGeek (@blackgeektuto) June 24, 2014
It’s unknown if and when a working jailbreak will surface once iOS 8 is released. But the increased number of iOS developer teams involved in jailbreaking may be key to finding another jailbreak in the near future.
â€” comex (@comex) June 23, 2014
The PanGu iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak tool is downloadable through the official website. PanGu currently runs on Windows computers, with Mac compatibility coming in the near future. The iOS jailbreak supports the iPhone 5S, 5, 5C, 4S, 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air and iPod Touch running iOS 7.1 through 7.1.x. For more detailed instructions, read our step-by-step iOS 7.1.1 PanGu jailbreak guide.