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Implementation of "iOS Exploit Chain 3"'s Kernel Part


Ian Beer and Samuel Groß of Google Project Zero published a longer serious about several in-the-wild caught iOS exploit chains. This exploit takes chain 31 and implementes the kernel exploit.

A full write-up about this exploit can be found at:


For the development of this exploit an iPhone 5S with iOS 11.2.5 was used. Any iPhone using the vulnerable driver and an iOS version below 11.4.1 should work.

It is suggested to use a Mac with Xcode installed as a build system. In Xcode, a free signing identity for iPhone development is needed. Execute security find-identity in a terminal and find the fingerprint of that identity. Copy the fingerprint into Makefile as the value for the variable SIGNING_ID.

It is possible to use a jailbroken iPhone[^14] for development but it is not necessary. A jailbroken has the advantage that no sandbox escape is needed. Just remove the application overhead and turn the function exploit() in the source code to the main() function. Copy the correct entitlements via ldid to the binary on the iPhone and copy the binary to /Applications/. Start the app via SSH.

If no jailbreak is available, the following way works as well.

Export your certificate identities to a file that can be read with openssl. Execute the following commands on a terminal:

security export -t identities -f pkcs12 -o certs -k login.keychain
openssl pkcs12 -in certs

Search for your iPhone development certificate and copy the value of OU. This is the team identifier. Copy that value to all XXX in the file entitlements.plist. The file has already the format that is needed to exploit Siguza's sandbox escape[^15].

The exploit is now ready for building and installation.

Build the exploit with make and install it with ideviceinstaller -i chain3.ipa from the same directory. It is possible that this will fail. What helps most times: Build and install some demo application via Xcode and trust the developer certificate via the Settings app of the iPhone. Then it should be possible to install the exploit application as well.

To run and debug it, two terminal windows are needed. Moreover, the device support files for the correct iOS version are needed. These can be found, e.g., via Github[^16]. In the first window run idevicesyslog | grep chain3. This command will print the debug messages of the exploit. In the second window run ideviceimagemounter DeveloperDiskImage.dmg and then idevicedebug -d foxhound.chain3. The exploit should start on the iPhone and debug messages should appear in the first terminal windows.


This project is licensed under the terms of the WTFPL license.




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