Development-fused iPhones with hardware debugging features like JTAG are out of reach for many security researchers. This talk takes you along my journey to create a similar capability using off-the-shelf iPhones. We'll look at a way to break KTRR, a custom hardware mitigation Apple developed to prevent kernel patches, and use this capability to load a kernel extension that enables full-featured, single-step kernel debugging with LLDB on production iPhones.
This talk walks through the discovery of hardware debug registers on the iPhone X that enable low-level debugging of a CPU core at any time during its operation. By single-stepping execution of the reset vector, we can modify register state at key points to disable KTRR and remap the kernel as writable. I'll then describe how I used this capability to develop an iOS kext loader and a kernel extension called KTRW that can be used to debug the kernel with LLDB over USB.
This Talk was translated into multiple languages. The files available for download contain all languages as separate audio-tracks. Most desktop video players allow you to choose between them.
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