Apple clarified whether it will have left the iOS 10 beta kernel to the developer community unencrypted. It appears the company made it intentional as the company moves to issue more betas of its upcoming software updates. Will the iOS 10 be a killer?
Unencrypted Apple iOS Beta Kernel
“The kernel cache doesn’t contain any user info, and by unencrypting it we’re able to optimize the operating system’s performance without compromising security,” clarified an Apple spokesperson to TechCrunch. This snuffed out the rumors that the company was lax over the matter; it was an uncharacteristic mistake.
However, this does not end the debate on whether the tech giant is making the right move. Developers never had access to the decrypted version of the iOS kernel. It is the core of devices like iPad and iPhone. It also limits and grants access of third-party apps to Apple’s hardware.
Apple’s move to offer access to its unencrypted version of the beta iOS 10 kernel will supposedly open the OS to both good and bad guys. It opens up the system to people who have previously just dreamed of reversing the kernel to launch malicious attacks.
“(Encrypting the kernel) is not just about keeping the kernel secret but more importantly, it’s about keeping the kernel from being changed. Any hack or subversion on the kernel would be immediately apparent so this is very powerful. Imagine if the key used to encrypt and sign the kernel was misused…that’s what I call a real cyber weapon,” said Kevin Bocek, VP of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi.
Fourth iOS 9.3.3 Beta
On this note, 9to5Mac reported that while people are waiting for iOS 10 beta 2 just around two weeks since the initial beta version, Apple has only released the fourth beta for any iOS 9.3.3 update testers. It is important to note that the changes are not yet apparent since it appears that the update is focusing more on security enhancements and bug fix improvements.