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

10 February 2018

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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. He even confirmed that the boot is legitimate, because it seems to align with the code he himself reverse-engineered.

It loads and verifies the kernel is properly signed by Apple and then executes it.

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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. That's applies to this case in particular, since the leaked source code is said to contain documentation.

Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey, said it was "extraordinary" that the code had been leaked.

While various parts of iOS and MacOS have been made open source in recent years, Apple has gone out of its way to ensure iBoot's code remains private - in Apple's bounty program, bugs in the boot process are deemed the most valuable and can fetch up to US$200k. There weren't any plans to widely share the information initially, but was naturally spread later on.

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But it said the leak had not necessarily compromised security. Sure, security measures on current versions of iOS may provide protection from most, but pouring over lines of code could give hackers insights into vulnerabilities and potential weak spots that hackers were heretofore unaware of.

Check out the full story from Motherboard here. The leak was for a critical part of the operating system, dubbed iBoot, which starts up the system on an iPhone when a user turns it on. The source of the leak is unknown, but you can imagine Apple will be cleaning house to find the culprit. There are no details on how ZioShiba got the iBoot source code, but after seeing it, we're certain it's the real deal.

Although the source was only available for a short time, it's likely that hundreds of people viewed and downloaded the material while it was available.

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