Apple knew about iPhone source code leak

Laverne Mann
February 11, 2018

An Apple's intern posted iOS source code GitHub, yesterday. Arxan Technologies VP of product, Rusty Carter says iBoot's leak could potentially allow hackers to find security holes in the smartphone, enabling them to analyse Apple's code, replicating and manipulating it for malicious objective. Rusty Carter, VP of Product at Arxan Technologies commented below. These devices may no longer use the leaked code. The leaker hoped that the code would help the jailbreaking community circumvent Apple's notoriously hard to crack walled-garden mobile operating system.

While many might imagine a disgruntled employee, Motherboard reports that Apple encouraged employees to seek help from friends outside of the company.

This is good news for iPhone users, as the leaking of source code typically fuels new vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. The former employee apparently took "all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot", according to one of the individuals who had originally received the code, including additional source code that was apparently not included in the initial leak. At least one security researcher called this the biggest leak in iPhone history, which begs the question, how could something like this happen?

The leak released the source code for iBoot, the very first program that runs when a device is turned on. After he stole the code, he distributed that code to the group of five friends in the iOS jailbreaking community. After the code was stolen and leaked on Discord, one of the members said the group burned all the copies it had because the members thought it could be unsafe in the hands of someone with malicious intent.

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In a statement provided to our sister site CNET, Apple said that the code was three years old, and is only one part of its approach to security. "We personally never wanted that code to see the light of day".

For their part, Apple seems relaxed and confident.

Again, the typical iPhone user is probably not in any danger, thanks to Apple's recent security upgrades on their devices. A current Apple employee claims the company knew of the leak before it was posted to GitHub, but did not say when exactly Apple found out about it. "There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products". Moreover, the source code is used just to securely sign-in into the devices and has nothing to do with smartphone's content.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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