Apple confirms iOS source code got leaked on GitHub

Feb 11, 2018, 05:04
Apple confirms iOS source code got leaked on GitHub

Apple's iPhone source code leak has been blamed on a low-level employee at the company, with a new report suggesting there could be more leaks to come.

Despite being tied to the outdated iOS 9, the code could make it easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities that would allow them to decrypt an iPhone. Rusty Carter, VP of Product at Arxan Technologies commented below.

The Cupertino giant may have not officially confirmed the alleged iOS source code leak but it has indirectly done so by sending a legal notice to GitHub, asking it to take the iBoot code down. There are no details on how ZioShiba got the iBoot source code, but after seeing it, we're certain it's the real deal. Similar to a BIOS, iBoot is the part of iOS that performs a series of checks and initializations to ensure a trusted boot of the operating system. A key iPhone code has just been revealed, in what some are calling the biggest leak in history. However, despite people trying to share it around as quick as possible - the source of that copy was taken down nearly immediately after a DMCA was sent to GitHub by Apple. That employee was apparently encouraged by friends from the Jailbreaking community to pull source code and internal tools from Apple's servers.

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The leaked iBoot code may be that of iOS 9 but it could be a cause for security concern as a certain portion of it could be used in other versions, including the latest iOS 11, and also because of the fact that a sizable number of people still use iPhones that run iOS 10 or later. In any case, Apple will have enough time to secure things up and might issue a patch to cover any risks posed by the leak.

While clarifying, the company said that the iPhone security doesn't rely on source code secrecy. Apple also explained that its products have multiple layers of protection, so customers should be safe as long as they update to the latest version of the operating system (OS).

Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey, said it was "extraordinary" that the code had been leaked.

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"If the documentation contains some crucial pieces - say file formats, interfaces or even Apple's fuzzing methodology - the impact could be even greater", he told TechNewsWorld.

'In terms of end users, this doesn't really mean anything positive or negative, ' security researcher Will Strafach TechCrunch.

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