Apple’s New ‘Security Research Device’ For Ethical Hackers


Apple has introduced a new version of the iPhone, known as the “Security Research Device,” specifically designed for security researchers and ethical hackers. This special iPhone is intended to assist in the discovery of vulnerabilities within the iOS operating system, which can then be reported to Apple for necessary fixes. The device is equipped with certain security features disabled, allowing researchers to more easily identify and address bugs in iOS.

Key Takeaway

Apple has introduced a specialized iPhone, the Security Research Device, tailored for security researchers to identify and report vulnerabilities within the iOS operating system. This move marks a significant shift in Apple’s approach to the concept of jailbreaking, as the company now actively supports and provides tools for ethical hacking and security research.

The Evolution of iPhone Security

In the past, a group of individuals known as “jailbreakers” sought to bypass Apple’s security restrictions on iPhones. Their activities included activities such as sideloading apps not available in the official App Store and making modifications to the iPhone’s interface. However, Apple consistently discouraged such actions, referring to them as “unauthorized modifications” to iOS.

Apple’s Embrace of Jailbreaking

Surprisingly, Apple has now embraced the concept of jailbreaking by incorporating it into the official instructions for the Security Research Device. The device allows researchers to run their existing tools with platform privilege and various entitlements, while keeping the overall security policies intact. This approach provides the flexibility of a jailbroken device while maintaining the integrity of the systems being investigated.

The Security Research Device in Action

Security researcher Gergely Kalman shared details about the Security Research Device, including a picture of the device’s packaging, instructions for researchers, and accompanying stickers. According to Kalman, the device is virtually identical to an iPhone 14 Pro, with the only noticeable difference being the labeling on the locked screen and a special tag on the box indicating its status as a property of Apple Inc.

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