Apple Uses DMCA Takedown Notice To Remove Leaked iOS Source Code


This is good news for iPhone users, as the leaking of source code typically fuels new vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. 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 code leaked onto GitHub claims to be designed for iOS 9 but much of it is likely to be found in iOS 11, making the leak potentially risky to Apple's mobile software.

"There are many layers of hardware and software protections built in to our products, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections", the statement from Apple read.

Jonathan Levin, the author of a series of books on iOS and Mac OSX internals, called the leak "huge", speculating the code is now making rounds in the underground iOS jailbreaking community.

The leak first occurred some time ago, when a portion of source code associated with the iOS bootloader was posted in a repository on GitHub. Nearly all iPhone users are safe from any potential hacking borne from this leak, but even then, Apple still recommends keeping your OS updated.

Apple has been particularly cautious about releasing code to the public: only certain parts of its operating system are open-source, and the company runs a bounty program which pays $200,000 to anyone who finds a bug in its programming.

As such, its leak has understandably caused concern among security experts and consumers alike. "It is not open-source", said the legal document.

Motherboard asked Jonathan Levin - chief technology officer of software security firm Technologeeks and author of several books on the theme - what he thinks about the leak. Even though we're looking at an iBoot for the iOS 9.3, it doesn't mean that the loopholes or workarounds would be useless for the latest iOS versions.

In 2004, for example, millions of lines of code were leaked for Microsoft's Windows NT and 2000 operating systems.

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. While Apple has responded that it's not an issue for the security of current products, some believe it could still be important in finding new vulnerability and bugs in iOS.