An Apple iOS source code was leaked online

Angelica Greene
February 10, 2018

The so-called iBoot code for iOS 9, the ninth iteration of Apple's iOS mobile operating system released in 2016, was briefly posted to GitHub before Apple sent a DMCA notice to the software platform demanding it be taken down.

Users having the latest iOS version have nothing to worry about concerning the potential vulnerabilities. The code, "iBoot", 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. 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. This means that updated devices are not completely at risk to vulnerabilities hackers might find in the source code. After an iPhone or iPad is turned on, iBoot loads and begins to start the main iOS processes.

Apple security is multi-layered, but users should still update to the latest possible version of iOS to make sure they're protected. However, as a precautionary measure, the company has removed the code from GitHub via a DMCA takedown notice. It ensures that the code being run is valid and is from Apple only.

However, talking to BBC, Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward said that security researchers and hackers will study the code to see whether there are any flaws in it that could lead to unauthorised access to the smartphones.

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Though the code is for the iOS 9, some of the parts can be found in the iOS 11, notes The Verge.

Apple iOS and MacOS specialist Jonathan Levin told the website that the iBoot posting is "the biggest leak in history". "This can be useful not only to advanced users of devices, but also to criminals". It's responsible for verifying the kernel is genuine and then commencing its execution.

But leaks of this kind potentially open up the scope for iPhone hacking and no doubt a degree of furore will be churning away in communities that love nothing more than getting stuck into a piece of private code.

Both of our sources say they believe that someone not associated with the original leak ultimately posted it on GitHub: "What leaked yesterday isn't even the full leak really".

Other reports by GizPress

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