Earlier this fall, a security agency known as Zerodium announced that it would be willing to pay out $1 million to any hacker or team of hackers that could find a way to remotely jailbreak an iPhone or iPad running the latest version of iOS.
After weeks of work, two teams had made significant progress but found themselves “stuck” on the same issue, according to Motherboard. Now, at the beginning of November, it appears that one team has succeeded.
In order to accomplish this task, the team (which has not been named) had to do significantly more work than hacker group Pangu, which released the first iOS 9 jailbreak last month. In order to claim the bounty, the hackers would need to find a series of zero-day exploits and jailbreak the phone or tablet remotely using Safari, Chrome or a text message.
“Making the jailbreak remotely triggerable via Safari or Chrome requires at least two to three additional exploits compared to a local jailbreak,” Zerodium founder Chaouki Bekrar told Motherboard.
There have been no official details released regarding the successful remote jailbreak, but as Motherboard points out, this would be the first jailbreak of its kind since iOS 7.
Apple does not offer rewards for bug reports like many other technology companies, but sources say that $1 million is going to be a good investment for Zerodium. After all, “if you sell it to the right people” you can still make a profit. And as we all know, the NSA and the CIA have found it increasingly difficult to access iPhones.
This could be right up their alley.
You can read more about the hack and Zerodium on Motherboard.