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Key source code for iOS's iBoot leaked on GitHub

10 February 2018

The source code for iOS 9, an older version of Apple's mobile software, was posted on the Github code-sharing earlier this week, doubtless causing gnashing of teeth in Cupertino and joy in the iPhone jailbreaking community.

Apparently, the iOS source code is from iOS 9.3 released in March 2016, reports Motherboard. Speaking with Motherboard, security researcher, Jonathan Levin, noted that this leak "brings us closer to a truly liberated iOS booted on generic arm boards and/or emulators". The code includes Apple's copyright notice - which was clearly visible when it was uploaded on GitHub. The company also operates a bug bounty program to protect the security of its devices and software by paying security researchers and white hackers when they discover a vulnerability.

Apple is used to fighting leaks about its upcoming products and OS releases, but it's never had to deal with anything like this before.

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It was posted on the website by user 'ZioShiba.' It remains unclear how the user obtained the code, but it appears to be legitimate. If past history is any indication, however, hackers will continue their quest to unlock the iPhone and give users full control over their devices.

The leaked code refers to Apple's iBoot system which begins when an iPhone is turned on. It's the very first process that runs when iOS starts up. Apple issued a takedown notice on the posted code overnight which likely confirms the code was indeed leaked, although it was accessible for hours before being taken down.

The code was initially leaked on GitHub, a site for software developers to share and develop new codes.

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While some may question the authenticity of this piece of code, several searchers have confirmed that it aligns with the reverse engineered code. As more jailbreaks come out that take advantage of these vulnerabilities, there's a high probability that Apple will take all steps possible in order to keep their phones locked down.

However, making the code public could allow intrepid hackers to sniff around in iBoot and find their own vulnerabilities, only instead of reporting them to Apple, they could tap into the flaws and use them as vectors of attack against iOS.

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Key source code for iOS's iBoot leaked on GitHub