Apple confirms iOS source code got leaked on GitHub

10 February, 2018, 09:46 | Author: Tracy Craig
  • Image via Abine

This is good news for iPhone users, as the leaking of source code typically fuels new vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

"iBoot is the one component Apple has been holding on to, still encrypting its 64 bit image", Levin explained.

iBoot code is essentially the first line of defense when booting up an iPhone.

"Apple isn't prone to open-sourcing its code so most understanding of iOS" internals has been acquired through reverse-engineering attempts.

Since Motherboard published the news, Apple has indeed confirmed that the code for its mobile phone operating system has been leaked online. The post claims that the source code is for Apple's older iOS 9 operating system; however, tech experts believe parts of that code are likely still being used in the current iOS 11 system.

If you're running an older iPhone or iPad that's stuck on iOS 9, then you need to plan some sort of escape strategy following this week's leak of Apple's iBoot source code to GitHub.

According to Apple's own numbers, 93% of users are running iOS 10 or later - software which also may no longer use the code. However, as a precautionary measure, the company has removed the code from GitHub via a DMCA takedown notice.

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"Apple does not use security through obscurity, so this does not contain anything risky, just an easier to read format for the boot loader code", Strafach told TechCrunch.

Unfortunately for the company, copies of the code have already become available to many, and it remains to be seen if those prove to be disruptive to iOS devices.

The code leaked onto GitHub claims to be designed for iOS 9 but much of it is likely to be found in iOS 11, making the leak potentially unsafe to Apple's mobile software.

iOS bootloader The leak could be of value to "jailbreakers" who install third-party software on iPhones and iPads.

The code on GitHub was labelled "iBoot", which is a key cog of iOS responsible for making sure the operating system "boots up" safely and securely.

The code began with the statement: "This document is the property of Apple Inc". Last year, a Reddit user named Apple_Internals posted the code, but at the time, it failed to gain the same amount of attention.

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