iOS 10 Unencrypted Kernel Deliberate Choice
A few days ago, software developers and security experts were debating whether Apple had accidentally or deliberately leaked part of the iOS 10 system by not encrypting the code contained within the kernel cache and memory. The initial dominant opinion on this matter was that Apple had made a critical mistake and potentially either reworked parts of the security of the operating system, or simply caused a security loophole through oversight. Apple has made a statement towards TechCrunch on the matter, and as it turns out this change was deliberate and has taken place for good reason.
Apple decrypts kernel cache for performance reasons
Because the kernel cache does not contain any sensitive information that is relatable to the owner of the device, Apple decided to decrypt it for performance reasons in iOS 10 and in turn speed up the operating system even more. Speed optimization is always one of the focal points in new iterations of iOS. In case you’re worried that this change might compromise the security: Be assured that it does not.
Security loopholes and exploits are found far more easily via other routes and no system is entirely unhackable. The lack of encryption in the case of the kernel might even harden security, as it opens up the system to inspection by information security researchers who may bring attention to any glaring issues. This could lead to a quicker reveal of issues and in turn patches by the iOS development team.