iOS 14/15 Kernel Exploitation

Posted: by Stefan Esser   |  More posts about Blog Training iOS Kernel Exploitation
Instructor: Stefan Esser (Antid0te UG/Antid0te SG)
Dates: 20th June - 24th June 2022 (EU/North America Timezone)
Dates: 27th June - 1st July 2022 (APAC Timezone)
Venue: Online, Zoom
Availability: 20 Seats
Language: English

With the release of iOS 14 and 15 Apple has once again raised the bars in terms of kernel level security. This course will introduce you to the kernel exploitation on iOS 14 and iOS 15 kernels. This course will concentrate on the latest security enhancements of iOS 15 while performing exploitation tasks on iOS 14 and MacOS ARM64 devices.

This training will be held virtually in June 2022 via Zoom Sessions with support via a Discord server. It will be perfomed twice to allow trainees accross different timezones to attend the course. For 5 days there will be daily live training sessions around 5h in length. In addition to that all trainees will receive 1-2 weeks before the course a multi hour set of introduction videos they need to work through before the course. This course is targeted at security researchers that want to learn how to find and exploit kernel vulnerabilities in iOS 14 and 15.

The course will require trainees to have an own iOS device that is compatible to the checkra1n iOS 14 jailbreak. If checkra1n is available for iOS 15 devices until the course then this is also acceptable. Alternatively MacOS ARM64 devices can be used to perform kernel level hands on tasks.


The list of topics covered in the training. Please notice that this list is copied from an earlier version of the course and therefore there might be slight changes.

  • 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 PAC (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
    • Debugging with own Patches
    • Kernel Heap Debugging/Visualization (new software package for new devices)
  • iOS Kernel Heap
    • In-Depth Explanation of How the Kernel Heap works (up to date for iOS 14.6)
    • 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
    • Includes software and hardware based mitigations like (KTRR, KPP, PAC, PAN, APRR)
    • Including newest mitigations already known in latest kernels
    • 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 iOS 14 kernel exploits
  • iOS Kernel Jailbreaking
    • Discussion of how recent iOS jailbreaks work
  • 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.
  • For up to 5 days after the training students can rewatch video recordings of all sessions.
  • Trainees will get a license for the Antid0te software and scripts that are used during the training that allows usage but not redistribution of said software.

Training Requirements

  • Student Requirements
    • Basic understanding of exploitation
    • C and Python Programming knowledge
    • Knowledge of ARM64 assembly
  • Hardware Requirements
    • Apple Mac Notebook
    • iOS device compatible with checkra1n for iOS 14
    • Access to Apple ARM64 MacBook could be helpful to replace lack of iOS device (we will have some available via remote access)
  • Software Requirements
    • IDA Pro 7.x license (ARM64 support required)
    • Ghidra (Fully supported now)
    • Hexrays for ARM64 helpful, but not required
    • BinDiff for IDA helpful, but not required
    • MacOS, with latest XCode and iOS 14.x SDK (or newer)
    • Additional Software will be made available during the training

Virtual Venue

The training sessions will be held via Zoom video conferencing. Training sessions will be around 5 hours per training day. In addition to that trainees will get access to a few hours worth of introductory videos.

Furthermore trainees get access to a Discord server that will be used to post information regarding the training and will be used to discuss exercises and their solution, unless those will be covered via Zoom.

All training sessions will be recorded and made available as videos until 5 days after the training. During that time trainees can rewatch sessions as often as they want.


We offer this training in an EU/North America edition and in an APAC timezone edition. For other timezones please enquire. Unlike in person training courses when all attendees are present and share the same timezone the execution of online training courses requires some adjustments to be made to allow attendees accross different timezones to attent.

EU / North America Edition

17:00 - 22:00 Berlin
16:00 - 21:00 London
08:00am - 01:00pm Seattle / Vancouver
11:00am - 04:00pm New York / Montreal

Asia Pacific Edition

01:00pm - 06:00pm Singapore
02:00pm - 07:00pm Seoul
02:00pm - 07:00pm Tokyo
03:00pm - 08:00pm Sydney
07:00 - 12:00 Berlin

Please note that training times will be in afternoon for APAC edition because trainer might be in Germany during that time.


We offer the following rates for this training.

EUR 4000,- EUR
SGD 6200,- SGD
USD 4750,- USD

Payment will be possible via international bank transfer or via credit card featured by STRIPE. Please note that we will usually charge EU customers in EUR and the rest of the world in SGD. On request we can charge in USD.


If you have further questions or want to register for this training please contact us by e-mail Please notice that signup, billing and execution of the training is handled 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, want to feature our training at your online conference or would just like to know if we provide the training again at a later time please contact us by e-mail