Many were surprised when Apple announced last week during WWDC that iOS 10’s core code was left unencrypted.
The kernel that manages security and limits how apps on an iOS device can interact with hardware is apparently open, but it doesn’t contain any user information. It’s an extremely important piece of code that’s crucial to the overall function of the device.
However, it’s for that reason that leaving the kernel unencrypted doesn’t actually compromise the security of iOS devices. Representatives from Apple claim that leaving the kernel unencrypted not only allows them to optimize device performance but has very little effect on smartphone security.
They went on to say that by keeping the kernel under several layers of protection as Apple did in previous versions of iOS, developers were left in the dark, meaning that bug fixes usually took much longer to come to fruition.
By opening up the kernel, Engadget reports that other researchers and developers might be able to find and report bugs that Apple’s developers may have missed. It could mean quicker fixes for Apple’s customers that don’t leave room for security breaches.
Furthermore, a move like this speaks to Apple’s slow transition towards offering a more transparent view of its products and away from its traditionally secretive habits.
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