Apple Source Code For iBoot Gets Posted Online

Apple throws take-down notice at GitHub to remove leaked iBoot code

Computer code for Apple's iOS mobile operating system has been leaked onto the internet, giving hackers a Rosetta Stone with which to infiltrate and control Apple devices across the world.

Apple has led a bug bounty program in the past, offering researchers up to $200k to expose vulnerabilities in the boot process - meaning this leak could be another opportunity to strengthen security, depending on who gets their hands on it.

Apple iOS source code was leaked earlier this week by some anonymous hacker, raising concerns over the vulnerability of the iOS devices. The codes have since been removed after Apple asked for it claiming that it is proprietary material and is not meant for open circulation on the web.

However, Apple has now released a statement to address the growing unease of its customers worldwide.

The smartphone giant has kept all the source codes private, however, the source code of older iOS 9 was posted on the code-sharing forum - according to BCC report. Frequently updated devices likely no longer utilize the leaked code. The code comes from a low-level iOS component called "iBoot" which is a trusted part of the platform. iBoot acts as a bootloader for the rest of iOS.

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The unmasking of the iPhone code may allow hackers, known as jailbreakers, to find a way to break into a victim's iPhone and decrypt their data.

He continued: "iBoot is the one component Apple has been holding on to, still encrypting its 64-bit image. now it's wide open in source code form". And the company also made sure the code was taken offline within hours. 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.

"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.

According to Motherboard, the intern who stole the code took it and distributed it to a small group of five friends in the iOS jailbreaking community in order to help them with their ongoing efforts to circumvent Apple's locked down mobile operating system.

Doesn't seem like a lot, but with over a billion active iOS devices in circulation, that small percentage expands out into around 70 million devices. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain's New York Business and The New York Times.

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