Source code of iPhone leaked, confirms Apple

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Motherboard is out today with a follow-up on how Apple's iBoot source code was leaked.

"While having access to source code does make it easier to find vulnerabilities, many iOS jailbreaks over the years have proved that it is not necessary". Rusty Carter, VP of Product at Arxan Technologies commented below.

Motherboard was the first to report the leak of the iOS source code, which was for an iOS process named "iBoot". In addition to the iBoot source code, the employee is said to have taken additional code, which has yet to be released publicly. It ensures that the mobile OS's kernel is approved by Apple and legitimate for use on an iPhone or iPad.

That Apple has been quick to seek removal of the code from GitHub is also proof enough how important the code is for the company.

Jonathan Levin, the author of a series of books on iOS and Mac OSX internals, called the leak "huge", speculating the code is now making rounds in the underground iOS jailbreaking community. The "iBoot' source code is proprietary and it includes Apple's copyright notice".

When an iPhone has been jailbroken, users can run software that's not typically allowed or delete applications that come pre-loaded on the device, also known as 'bloatware'.

Security researchers are still cautioning that the outdated code could give hackers an inside look into how Apple's secret boot software works.

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Fortunately, numerous risks associated with the leak have been mitigated.

A security expert said that the code appears to be genuine, although it refers to an older version of the system.

"There are many layers of hardware and software protections built in to our products, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections", the statement from Apple read.

Again, the typical iPhone user is probably not in any danger, thanks to Apple's recent security upgrades on their devices.

"If the documentation contains some crucial pieces - say file formats, interfaces or even Apple's fuzzing methodology - the impact could be even greater", he told TechNewsWorld. According to Motherboard, the code that was posted said it's for iOS 9, though it's likely aspects of it are still used in the current version, iOS 11.

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'There is no way to really use any of the contents here maliciously or otherwise, ' he added.