Apple’s security challenged as former intern leaks iOS source code

Written by Nimra Puri ·  1 min read >

An Apple’s intern posted iOS source code GitHub, yesterday. Soon after the incident, Apple issued copyright takedown request to GitHub to remove the code from the site.

The code was originally leaked by former Apple intern 2 years ago. The code is primarily for iOS 9 but some parts of it could still be used in iOS 11. Through this leak, hackers can easily discover iOS complexities and can jailbreak iPhones.

The jailbreaking of iOS source code allows the hackers to download and install additional applications, extensions, and themes that are unavailable through the official Apple App store.

After the first leak incident, Motherboard, a media outlet, anonymously got in touch with one of the five friends who first accessed the code. According to Motherboard, Apple intern actually didn’t want to steal the code for any wrongdoing but his friends insisted to get his hands on Apple internal documents. After he stole the code, he distributed that code to the group of five friends in the iOS jailbreaking community.

The incident got real attention when GitHub posted the code on their site. Jonathan Levin, the famous author of books on iOS and Mac OSX internals claims this leak to be the “biggest leak in the history”.

The question raising point is “how is it possible that Apple’s most sensitive code has been leaked ?”, as per Apple insider employee, “Apple already knew that their iOS source code has been leaked but they did not make noise to maintain company’s face”.

“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. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections,” said Apple’s spokesperson.

This is not the first time Apple faced a security breach. Two years back, in 2016, Reddit’s Jailbreak community also got their hands on this valuable code. The jailbreaking community is now super active to lock down Apple’s mobile operating system. With a little help from these incidents, they might become stronger in future.