Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

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

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

However, Apple did not explain how the source code ended up being exposed to the public. The iBoot source code might have been out in the wild web for about 4 months.

"While having access to source code does make it easier to find vulnerabilities, many iOS jailbreaks over the years have proved that it is not necessary".

Since Motherboard published the news, Apple has indeed confirmed that the code for its mobile phone operating system has been leaked online. As such, its leak has understandably caused concern among security experts and consumers alike. First off, believe it or not, there are a ton of users out there who own Apple devices that are more than three years old; MacWorld says that almost 95% of Apple customers use older versions of iOS. Now that it gathered attention, Apple filed a copyright takedown request to Github, forcing the site to take down the code. According to Motherboard, the code that was posted said it's for iOS 9, though it's likely aspects of it are still used in the current version, iOS 11. Although Apple hasn't directly commented on the breach's authenticity, its expedited DMCA request strongly implies the source was genuine code.

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

The code has seemingly been taken from the "iBoot" part of the iOS, the part of the computer that begins to boot the operating system when it is turned on.

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Apple is in the middle of a serious security scare after the source code for iBoot was anonymously posted on GitHub.

The original Apple employee did not respond to our request for comment and said through his friend that he did not now want to talk about it because he signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple.

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.

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".

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