iOS is a strong and widely used mobile device system. It’s annual profits make up about 90% of the total profits of all mobile phone brands. Though it is famous for its security, there have been many attacks on the iOS operating system, such as the Trident apt attack in 2016. So it is important to research the iOS security mechanism and understand its weaknesses and put forward targeted protection and security check framework. By studying these attacks and previous jailbreak tools, we can see that an attacker could only run a ROP code and gain kernel read and write permissions based on the ROP after exploiting kernel and user layer vulnerabilities. However, the iOS operating system is still protected by the code signing mechanism, the sandbox mechanism, and the not-writable mechanism of the system’s disk area. This is far from the steady, long-lasting control that attackers expect. Before iOS 9, breaking these security mechanisms was usually done by modifying the kernel’s important data structures and security mechanism code logic. However, after iOS 9, the kernel integrity protection mechanism was added to the 64-bit operating system and none of the previous methods were adapted to the new versions of iOS . But this does not mean that attackers can not break through. Therefore, based on the analysis of the vulnerability of KPP security mechanism, this paper implements two possible breakthrough methods for kernel security mechanism for iOS9 and iOS10. Meanwhile, we propose a defense method based on kernel integrity detection and sensitive API call detection to defense breakthrough method mentioned above. And we make experiments to prove that this method can prevent and detect attack attempts or invaders effectively and timely.
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Research Article| April 18 2018
Research on offense and defense technology for iOS kernel security mechanism
AIP Conf. Proc. 1955, 040132 (2018)
Sijun Chu, Hao Wu; Research on offense and defense technology for iOS kernel security mechanism. AIP Conf. Proc. 18 April 2018; 1955 (1): 040132. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5033796
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