According to reports from Motherboard and Redmond Pie, someone has posted a core component of Apple’s iOS operating system on GitHub. The source code cited appears to be for iBoot, the program responsible for trusted boot of operating system on iPhones and other iOS devices.
Like BIOS in Windows and Fastboot in Android, iBoot is the initial program that loads when iPhone is switched on. It confirms that iOS is loaded correctly and the kernel is signed by Apple. Users on Twitter have stated that it is allegedly released by user “ZioShiba” under the “iBoot” REPOSITORY!!
APPLE’S SECRET “iBoot” FIRMWARE SOURCE CODE HAS BEEN LEAKED ON GITHUB BY USER “ZioShiba” UNDER THE “iBoot” REPOSITORY!!!#SodomousPrime #ZioShiba #Apple #iOS #iBoot #iPhone #Firmware #Leak #SourceCode #GitHub #Arm #InfoSec pic.twitter.com/bkIWVocSro
— Sodomous Prime (@SodomousPrime) February 8, 2018
Authenticity of this code is yet to be confirmed but few security experts have claimed that it is legitimate.
The iBoot code appears to belong to iOS 9, an older version of the operating system. Therefore, it is not entirely relevant to the current iOS 11.2.5 but, certain portions of the code are used in iOS 11. This makes the current version somewhat vulnerable.
Apple has never been in favor of making its code public especially the iBoot code as any vulnerability detected in the boot process will make the device prone to attacks. This leak is certainly not good news as now hackers and security researchers will be able to find flaws in the code and create jailbreaks.
You may not be able to compile the code since certain parts are missing but finding security holes won’t be an issue as whatever is available is enough for nuisance creators.
Security experts on Twitter say:
iBoot source code: https://t.co/2TH0mahxmF https://t.co/ex4aGMPLSv
— q3hardcore ? (@q3hardcore) February 6, 2018
As per Motherboard, Jonathan Levin, an iOS and macOS expert, it is the “biggest leak in history.”
Furthermore, the leak will pave ways for developers to emulate iOS on non-Apple devices as it is now wide open and anyone can use it.
This is not for the first time that the source code has appeared but due to less user base last year’s leak on Reddit got buried. But this time things are different. So far, this year, Apple has faced quiet some flak, first for iPhone X and now the iBoot leak, we only hope things look up soon for this much popular brand.