Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

Apple plays down security fears over leaked iOS source code

Apple plays down security fears over leaked iOS source code

Hackers and security researchers could use it to find vulnerabilities in the iOS operating system or make jailbreaking iOS devices easier.

The code itself is from iOS9, and although the most current iOS is iOS11.2.5, the older code may still be used in the updated operating system.

Some iOS source code got leaked at GitHub raising possible security or hacking concerns with devices now in use.

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.

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.

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".

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The plan was originally to make sure that the code never left the initial circle of five friends, but apparently the code spread beyond the original group sometime previous year. The leak was for a critical part of the operating system, dubbed iBoot, which starts up the system on an iPhone when a user turns it on. However, Apple did not explain how the source code ended up being exposed to the public.

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

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

While the leak just gained mainstream attention this week, the code has been floating around for a while.

Only time will tell whether or not something will come from the leak many tech professionals are calling "the biggest leak in history". 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.

Motherboard confirmed that this particular source code began circulating more widely in 2017 with a fourth and fifth source who are familiar with the jailbreaking and iPhone research communities.

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