Sci-tech

Published iPhone Source Code Is The 'Biggest Leak In History'

Published iPhone Source Code Is The 'Biggest Leak In History'

Earlier this week, a portion of iOS source code was posted online to GitHub, and in an interesting twist, a new report from Motherboard reveals that the code was originally leaked by a former Apple intern. According to Apple's own usage share figures, seven percent of active iOS devices are current running iOS 9 or below.

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. It corroborated information from two sources claiming that they had been given the iBoot code by a low-level Apple employee in 2016, who the publication was unable to speak with.

The iBoot source code could also enable programmers to eventually find a way to emulate iOS on devices other than iPhones and iPads, which would be a big thorn in Apple's closed ecosystem approach. "Not open-source" The code was uploaded to GitHub by a user account known as "ZioShiba".

Despite these assurances from Apple, some security experts have warned iPhone and iPad users to secure their devices. Hackers and security researchers could use it to find vulnerabilities in the iOS operating system or make jailbreaking iOS devices easier.

"It's only a matter of time before the release of this source code results in new and very stealthy ways to compromise applications running on iOS".

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"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.

It is also the same reason the code could be so important for the hacking community who are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities and loop holes in operating systems.

"[This leak] means everyone can look at the code and see how the boot loader authenticates the operating system, for security purposes - you can see how the whole process works, you can see any flaws and anything you could potentially exploit", Dr Zander said. Once the phone is jailbroken, users are at will to run the software that are otherwise not allowed, or delete the apps that come preloaded on the device.

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.

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey.