Google just made a surprising move this week, releasing a powerful new piece of software that can help security researchers hack iOS 11.1.2.
The code is the work of Ian Beer, a well-known name among iOS bug bounty hunters. He’s also a member of Google’s Project Zero, which works to find bugs and exploits in all kinds of software of various companies, in order to make them safer.
Released this MOnday, Beer says the program should theoretically work on all iOS devices, though he himself only tested them on the iPhone 7, iPhone 6s and iPod Touch 6G. However, he believes tweaking it for other devices should be fairly simple.
The news is huge among iOS modders and security researchers, as the new piece of code makes it easier to jailbreak an iOS device and find bugs. And no, it’s not any sort of spite from Google motivating the move. Project Zero actually works towards a goal of making all software safer to use. Unfortunately, independent security researchers rarely publish the exploits they find and the tools they use. That’s because bug bounties are worth a lot of money, especially to major brands like Apple. Since Google itself doesn’t need that income, it can afford to publish these finds for free, so software companies can all use the input to make their software safer.
The idea here is for other security researchers to poke around within iOS for possible flaws, without having to invest the time and research into creating their own methods to jailbreak it. Hopefully, that translates to researchers finding exploits more often so they can be fixed by Apple.