Apple confirms iPhone source code leak

Reports have since emerged that a former Apple intern stole the code

Tags: Apple IncorporatedCloud computingCyber crime
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Apple confirms iPhone source code leak An essential part of Apple's iOS code appeared online, Apple confirms. (Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  February 11, 2018

Last week news broke of the ‘biggest leak in history' - a part of Apple's iOS source code had been leaked online and now it appears that the code was leaked by a former Apple intern.

An essential part of Apple's iOS code appeared online and according to Motherboard and Apple intern stole the code and shared it with five friends who are linked to the iOS jailbreaking community.

It all began when Motherboard reported that a core component of Apple's iPhone operating system was spotted on GitHub. Dubbed ‘iBoot', the code is linked to the process that occurs when the iPhone is turned on as it validates that the code is from Apple.

Motherboard reported that this code could open the doors for hackers and security researchers to find vulnerabilities within Apple's iOS, as well as make jailbreaking easier.  

The code itself was for iOS 9 and older, however Motherboard stated that parts of the code ‘are likely to be used in iOS 11'.

Jonathan Levin, who specialises in iOS and macOS system programming, told Motherboard that he believes "this is the biggest leak in [its] history," especially as Apple is cautious which such information.

Apple has since confirmed that the leak contained genuine code as the tech titan told TechCrunch: "Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked but by design, the security of our products doesn't depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products."

The company has also filed a copyright takedown request citing: "The ‘iBoot' source code is proprietary and it includes Apple's copyright notice. It is not open-source.

Details have since emerge that it was a former Apple intern who leaked the code, as well as taking "all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot," said one of the friends.  The plan was to not share it with anyone else, however it was shared to two online forums and as of late GitHub.

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