iOS Kernel Exploitation Training Singapore EDITION (January 2019)

Posted: by Stefan Esser   |  More posts about Blog Training iOS Kernel Exploitation
Instructor: Stefan Esser (Antid0te SG Pte. Ltd.)
Dates: 21st January - 25th January 2019 (5 days)
Venue: Novotel Clarke Quay, Singapore
Availability: 20 Seats
Language: English

For years the SektionEins and Antid0te iOS Kernel Exploitation Trainings have been so successful that former trainees, tricks, techniques and vulnerabilities from the training have been directly involved in the making of some of the public iOS jailbreaks up to iOS 10.2. Even the public iOS 11 jailbreaks use techniques that are also taught in our trainings. Furthermore several of our former attendees can now be seen credited by Apple for security bug fixes in recent iOS and OS X releases or even joined Apple as employees. However Apple's internal development of the iOS kernel never stands still and they keep adding new security mitigations to defeat previously used attacks.

With the upcoming release of iOS 12 Apple introduces a huge number of security relevant changes to the iOS kernel, from the binary layout to the implementation of the the kernel heap, the sandbox and code signing. iOS researchers have e.g. called it the biggest modification to the iOS kernel heap in a long time. Our training will discuss all these changes in iOS 12.

This training is at the end of September 2018. It will be happening in Singapore and was redesigned by our Singaporean partner company Antid0te SG Pte. Ltd. to contain new material that builds on top of more public vulnerabilities that were made public in recent years and the correspondign public exploit source code. It is a full 5-day course and is targeted at exploit developers that want to switch over to iOS and could not come to our training course in Germany.

The goal of this training is to enable you to exploit new vulnerabilities in the iOS kernel that you discover on your own.


The following list of topics shows what is usually covered by the course.

  • Introduction
    • How to set up your Mac and Device for Vuln Research/Exploit Development
    • How to load own kernel modules into the iOS kernel
    • How to write Code for your iDevice
    • Damn Vulnerable iOS Kernel Extension
  • Low Level ARM / ARM64
    • Differences between ARM and ARM64
    • Exception Handling
    • Hardware Page Tables
    • Special Registers used by iOS
    • PAN and Pointer Authentication
    • ...
  • iOS Kernel Source Code
    • Structure of the Kernel Source Code
    • Where to look for Vulnerabilities
    • Implementation of Mitigations
    • MAC Policy Hooks, Sandbox, Entitlements, Code Signing
    • ...
  • iOS Kernel Reversing
    • Structure of the Kernel Binary
    • Finding Important Structures
    • Porting Symbols
    • Closed Source Kernel Parts and How to analyze them
    • ...
  • iOS Kernel Debugging
    • Panic Dumps
    • Using the KDP Kernel Debugger (hands on tasks limited to 30 pin devices)
    • Extending the Kernel Debugger (KDP++)
    • Debugging with own Patches
    • Kernel Heap Debugging/Visualization (new software package)
  • iOS Kernel Heap
    • In-Depth Explanation of How the Kernel Heap works (including all the changes in iOS 12)
    • Different techniques to control the kernel heap layout (including non-public ones)
    • Discuss weaknesses in current heap implementation
  • iOS Kernel Exploit Mitigations
    • Discussion of all the iOS Kernel Exploit Mitigations introduced
    • Discussion of various weaknesses in these protections
  • iOS Kernel Vulnerabilities and their Exploitation
    • Full walkthrough through exploitation of multiple prior known iOS memory corruption vulnerabilities
    • Analysis of public exploits and discussion how to improve them
    • Overview over different vulnerability types commonly found in iOS kernel and exploit strategies
    • Part of the training will be to reimplement bits and pieces of an iOS 11 kernel exploit
  • iOS Kernel Jailbreaking
    • Discussion of kernel patch protection KTRR / KPP
    • Discussion of how recent iOS jailbreaks deal with kernel patch protection
  • Handling of New Devices
    • Discussion of necessary steps to port exploits from old to new devices

Training Takeaways

  • The whole training material (multiple hundred slides) will be handed to the students in digital form.
  • Trainees will get a license for our software and scripts that are used during the training that allows usage but not redistribution of said software.

Training Requirements

  • Student Requirements
    • This course will not give an introduction to ARM basics. The trainee is required to understand basic ARM assembly. It is not required to have previous experience with ARM64 cpus, because their differences are discussed within the training. There is a short refresher inside the training. Low level ARM CPU knowledge will be helpful, but is not required for this course - part of it will be explained within the course.
    • This course will not give basic introduction to exploitation or ROP. Trainees are required to know concepts like ROP or buffer overflows, integer overflows, etc...
    • This is a new version of the training that incorporates more public examples of vulnerabilites and exploits - export restrictions do not apply for this special version of the training
  • Hardware Requirements
    • An Apple Mac Notebook is required in order to run OS X Yosemite and XCode.
    • Training hands-on exercises will be performed on devices provided by Antid0te. It is not required for students to bring their own iOS devices.
    • Every student will be handed an iPod Touch 16GB at the beginning of the training that they will work on - these devices remain the property of Antid0te SG Pte. Ltd.
    • Students can optionally bring their own iOS device for experiments. But for best results these devices should run an iOS version which has a public jailbreak for it.
  • Software Requirements
    • Legal IDA Pro 6.x license (ARM64 support required)
    • alternatively Hopper/Binary Ninja can be used but script support varies by tool
    • Hexrays for ARM helpful, but not required
    • BinDiff for IDA helpful, but not required
    • Mac OS X 10.13, with latest XCode and iOS 11.x SDK (or newer)
    • Additional Software will be made available during the training


The training will be held at Novotel Clarke Quay (Singapore). The Novotel is located near Clarke Quay MRT (purple line) and near Fort Canning (downtown line) in Singapore.

Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
177A River Valley Rd
Singapore 179031

No special deal has been made with the hotel concerning rooms for the attendees. Attendees are free to choose whatever hotel is nearby.


We offer the following rates for this training. The prices are in Singapore Dollars and include 7% GST.

Regular (before 7th January) S$ 6420
Registration closes 7th January  

The training ticket price include daily lunch, morning and afternoon coffee breaks.


If you have further questions about this training please contact us by e-mail If you want to sign up for this training please do this via COSEINC, here. Please notice that signup and billing of the training is performed by COSEINC. Execution of the training however is done by Antid0te SG Pte. Ltd.

In-House Training / Conferences / Additional Trainings

If you are interested in this training, but want us to perform the training for your people at your office, want to feature our training at your conference or would just like to know if we provide the training again at a later time please contact us by e-mail