Apple Source Code Leak Breaches Virtual Fort Knox Around iOS

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The post claims that the source code is for Apple's older iOS 9 operating system; however, tech experts believe parts of that code are likely still being used in the current iOS 11 system.

Apple indirectly confirmed the code to be real soon after when it demanded GitHub to take the source code down with a DMCA legal notice.

Apple directed Github to remove the code since all codes are kept private to ensure consumer's privacy.

In a statement to Apple Insider, Apple said: "Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked, but by design the security of our products doesn't depend on the secrecy of our source code".

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iBoot is the one component Apple has been holding on to, still encrypting its 64-bit image. now it's wide open in source code form.

Shortly after that article was posted, the publication updated its report to say that Apple had sent GitHub a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice demanding removal of the source code link. However, multiple copies of the code have already spread online. The "iBoot" starts up the system when the iPhone is first turned on.

As of now, there is no information on how the anonymous user ZioShiba got hold of the iOS source code. Microsoft warned at the time that anyone who searching for or sharing such code was engaging in illegal activity, and sent letters to that effect to people who had downloaded the code.

The code is also still available in some corners of the internet. "This can be useful not only to advanced users of devices, but also to criminals".

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Thanks to the use of the Secure Enclave Processor chip in modern iPhones, jailbreaking iOS and accessing a phone's data has been made into an unattractive challenge by Apple.

However, according to the security researcher Will Strafach, for the end users it does not really mean anything positive or negative. That said, iBoot is highly sensitive code, and Apple apparently pays up to $200,000 under its bug bounty program to anyone who discovers bugs in the boot up procedure.

The code was for the outdated iOS 9, released in September 2015, but it is expected that parts of the code may still be in use underpinning the iPhone's security in later releases.

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