Apple's iOS iBoot Source Code For iPhone Leaked Online

Apple's iOS iBoot Source Code For iPhone Leaked Online

Apple's iOS iBoot Source Code For iPhone Leaked Online

"The release of the iBoot code demonstrates that vendors can't take it for granted that source code will always remain hidden", said Andy Kays, CTO of United Kingdom security firm Redscan.

According to a report from Motherboard, an anonymous user has uploaded what appears to be the source code of iBoot - the iOS secure bootloader - on GitHub, and all evidence suggests the code is authentic. Now, it's almost impossible for hackers to even find bugs in iOS code, making iOS exploits relatively rare, unlike in Windows and Android. Apple considers iBoot to be such a critical part of iOS that it offers $200,000 for vulnerabilities, the most in its bug bounty program. The code that found its way to GitHub is responsible for ensuring that a trusted boot of the operating system is performed. It is, however, the first app that runs when you turn on an iOS device, silently transitioning from a black screen to the white Apple icon to iOS's colorful Home screen. While the code is connected to an older version of iOS, bits and pieces of it are likely still in use in today's version of the software. He tells Motherboard that this is a huge deal as it appears to be the real iBoot code because it aligns with the code he has reverse engineered himself.

He noted at the time that the source was for iOS 9, an old version of the operating system, which is now up to version 11.

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Apple has always been very protective of its source code in order to prevent vulnerabilities, which could be exploited by malicious third-parties, from being discovered. The hacker posted the code on GitHub Wednesday. So, Apple must own the copyright of the code in order to have it removed. "And now it's wide open in source code form", Levin continued.

Last summer, when we still expected the iPhone X to be named iPhone 8, and an unauthorized HomePod firmware release revealed an unprecedented amount of official information on something Apple wanted to keep a secret until September, people called that the biggest leak in the company's history. It's likely we'll see some changes in the source code moving forward in order to address some of the damage that is now possible at the hands of enterprising hackers.

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