Apple ordered GitHub to remove iOS source code leak

Image Screenshot from GitHub

Image Screenshot from GitHub

Apple would appear to have sent a DCMA takedown notice to Github, where the code was leaked, this indicating the code posted was of some large outcome. In fact, users who find bugs or vulnerabilities in the bootup process can receive as much as $200,000 as part of the company's bug bounty program, Motherboard reports.

Apple has confirmed that the recent iBoot source code leak is real but downplayed its significance in a statement to MacRumors. You can imagine the damage hackers can do to iPhone users if they find some nice little holes in iBoot thanks to the leak. This component verifies that iOS is loaded correctly every time and if the kernel is signed by Apple. And, perhaps, this leak could eventually allow advanced programmers to emulate iOS on non Apple platforms.

The source code being mentioned here is reportedly for iBoot, which is one of the most important parts of iOS. 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. "Apple does not use security through obscurity, so this does not contain anything risky, just an easier to read format for the boot loader code".

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Fortunately, there were missing files that meant you couldn't compile the source code even if you managed to save it before it vanished from GitHub.

Even though the software is about two years old, and most iPhones now run iOS 11, the iOS 9 code contained the secret instructions that boot an iPhone (called "iBoot" by some), which may not have changed much in the interim. GitHub took it down shortly after it received the notice.

According to experts, this may not be too much of an obstacle for hackers and researchers as the existing code could still provide a treasure trove in terms of locating vulnerabilities and creating device jailbreaks for an iPhone or iPad. "And now it's wide open in source code form", Levin continued.

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Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is very likely that the code may have been spotted and was circulating in the jailbreaking and hacking community.

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