With the first developer beta of iOS 10, Apple seems to have taken an unusual step and left the kernel of the operating system un-encrypted. This move could make it easier for people to spot flaws in iOS, which, if reported to Apple, could be fixed before the final release.
From the MIT Technology Review:
That doesn't mean the security of iOS 10 is compromised. But looking for flaws in this version of the operating system will be much easier, says Jonathan Levin, author of a in-depth book on the internal workings of iOS. "It reduces the complexity of reverse engineering considerably," he says.
The goodies exposed publicly for the first time include a security measure designed to protect the kernel from being modified, says security researcher Mathew Solnik. "Now that it is public, people be able to study it [and] potentially find ways around it," he says.
As we understand it, this move is all about streamlining. Security expert Jonathan Zdziarski notes also notes that accidentally leaving out the encryption would be akin to "forgetting to put doors on an elevator." Deliberate or not, however, it's still a risk.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, this move leads to for the final release of iOS 10, which is expected this fall.