October 16, 2010 by dennis
Last weekend a new jailbreak tool for iOS 4.1 was released by the skilled programmers/hackers of the Chronic Dev Team. Greenpois0n (currently in beta stage) allows iPhone / iPad / iTouch owners to “jailbreak” their device, thus enabling them to download and install “homebrew” third party apps that could not be (or did not want to be) accepted into the iTunes AppStore.
Today iPhoneWorld.ca gets a chance to interview one of the key members of the Chronic Dev Team. We’ll be talking about the Chronic Dev Team, Greenpois0n, plans for the future and *shrug* the competition.
iW: Greetings! Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?
My name is Joshua Hill (aka @posixninja), i’m a 25 year old hacker from Atlanta, GA.
iW: Tell us a little about yourself… What is your background? What kinds of things you enjoy? And most importantly, why did you end up being an iPhone hacker – was that something that you envisioned to become, being someone who is responsible for the joy and pleasure of millions of people that use Greenpois0n to jailbreak their iDevices?
My background really isn’t too exciting. I’m a high school/college dropout, all the jobs i’ve ever had were minimum wage. I became obsessed with computer security/hacking at an early age and pushed myself to learn all I could about computers, neglecting all my other responsibilities. First time I read about the iPhone I fell in love. It was the device I had been waiting for my entire life, and I had to get one. I never really imagined i’d make it to where I am today, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything now.
iW: Can you tell us a little about the Chronic Dev Team? How was it formed, who are its founders, what are its achievements and goals, and well, what are you trying to achieve in the end?
Actually, I wasn’t even around when it was founded, so I couldn’t tell you the who or why. I started working with chronic, pod2g, and cpich on reversing the ipod touch 2g bootrom shortly after they found the arm7_go vulnerability. About a month later we discovered 24kpwn, and that’s when the group really started to take off. After that we worked with geohot for a bit to create genpass, a tool to allow people to generate vfdecrypt keys to decrypt iphone filesystems. When the iPhone3Gs was released we discovered the environmental variable heap overflow vulnerability in 3.0, but unfortunately geohot beat us to release with purplera1n. Then when iPod Touch 3g came out we discovered the usb 21,2 null pointer dereference vulnerability, but again geohot beat us to release with blackra1n. We were really hoping SHAtter would be our big break, but I guess we’ll have to keep trying. In the end we’re just trying to have fun, at least we get that.
iW: Greenpois0n is a wonderful iOS 4.1 jailbreak tool that everyone waited for a while to get their hands on. However at the last moment its release date was changed due to geohot (George Hotz) releasing his own jailbreak, Limera1n, using a different exploit. Why do you think he released his jailbreak tool at that exact time, and what are your feelings about it?
iW: So why did you choose to delay your greenpois0n tool after limera1n was released?
We really didn’t have a choice. We had to keep to communities interest at heart, regardless of how we felt at that time.
iW: By the way, is the bootrom exploit used by geohot’s exploit related to USB message 21,2?
Yes it is, but it’s used differently then it was in iBoot.
iW: Is it safe to say that not everything you wanted to implement into the first version of greenpois0n went in there because of what has happened?
We got all the basic functionality in there, of course there’s tons of other features I would of liked to add, but those can always be added later.
iW: So what could we expect from the final version of Greenpois0n?
Not sure what you mean by final version. Greenpois0n is an ongoing project that will be added onto, improved, and enhanced for as long as I’m part of this scene. After i’m gone hopefully it will be picked up by someone else and continued.
iW: So are you planning to keep supporting Greenpois0n beyond iOS 4.1?
iW: The much anticipated Mac version of Greenpois0n is the only one that’s still not available to download at the moment (with both Windows and Mac greenpois0n versions already being available). We won’t ask what’s the ETA, but rather we’d like to know: what is the reason behind this delay, as compared to other versions?
Yes, this is a huge disappointment to myself as well. Everything was ready to roll on Mac with the SHAtter exploit. Unfortunately geohot’s exploit has some issues working properly on OSX. But, it seems both dev team and geohot have found workarounds now so I expect a Mac version of GP isn’t far behind.
[Editor's note: Greenpois0n for Mac was released a day after this interview was posted.]
iW: Which one do you think will be the most stable / supported greenpois0n distribution – Linux, Mac or Windows?
Definitely Linux. That’s where I do most of my development if I have a choice. Mac is close behind since I had to use that for many of the other components. Honestly I haven’t even tried it on Windows yet, I let pod2g handle most of that stuff
iW: Do you have any plans to release the source code of greenpois0n to the public?
A lot of the code has already been released to the public on the Chronic-Dev github. Some of it is a little old, but it will be updated eventually.
iW: Everyone is waiting for an unlock for iPhone’s iOS 4.1. How soon do you think it will come?
I’m really not sure. We’ve never really done any work in the baseband or worked on any unlocks previously, and dev team keeps that stuff secret even from us.
iW: The Chronic Dev Team has done an incredible job releasing greenpois0n and running a support channel for it on the IRC. What can a regular greenpois0n user do to help you back?
Any kind of bug reports or feature requests are nice, and of course donations are always appreciated.
iW: Any last words for our readers?
Thanks for all the support! This community is awesome!
iW: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on The Chronic Dev Team and greenpois0n.
Note: you can download the most current version of greenpois0n here.
- Greenpois0n iPhone iOS 4.1 jailbreak: open source once it’s out of beta
- Greenpois0n jailbreak download for iPhone OS 4.1 (Windows / Mac / Linux)?
- Chronic Dev Team working on a new iPhone hacking tool: think “xpwn+idevicerestore+greenpois0n+ideviceactive+pwnagetool”
Sign up to receive latest iPhone World news and updates via e-mail, RSS, Twitter or Facebook!