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An Apple iOS source code was leaked online

10 February 2018

A version of the apple code that allows iOS devices like iPhones and iPads to boot-up has been leaked on the web-based hosting service GitHub. By doing so, it added, Apple "indirectly confirmed that the code was real".

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. Eventually, the code was then posted in a Discord chat group, and was shared to Reddit roughly four months ago (although that post was apparently removed by a moderation bot automatically). Although the iOS 9 code is no longer on GitHub, that's not to say others have saved the code and have subsequently reuploaded it elsewhere. The leak involves proprietary information that Apple works hard to keep secret.

But then, it was posted again to GitHub this week, which is when things snowballed to where they are now, with Apple ordering GitHub to remove the code.

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The leak released the source code for iBoot, the very first program that runs when a device is turned on.

The bottom line is that anything still running iOS 9 is already vulnerable (there have been loads of iOS security fixes released since iOS 9 support ended) so you're already skating on thin ice.

Speaking to online technology publication Motherboard, Jonathan Levin, an expert on iPhone internal software, said: "This is the biggest leak in history".

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Security researcher Karl Koscher noted on Twitter early this morning that, to invoke DMCA protections, Apple had to state, "under penalty of perjury, that the iBoot source code was legit".

This iBoot code release just made the ice a bit thinner.

IT security consultant/hacker Hector Martin downplayed how much of a security risk the iBoot leak could pose for Apple and its customers. Microsoft warned at the time that anyone who searching for or sharing such code was engaging in illegal activity, and sent letters to that effect to people who had downloaded the code. Here's hoping they plug the leak before something like the iOS 11 source code makes its way onto the internet. "Where exactly it came from, no one is sure for now".

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An Apple iOS source code was leaked online