Monday, 20 August, 2018

Apple Security Risks Keep Rising As iPhone Source Code Leaks

Image Screenshot from GitHub Image Screenshot from GitHub
Sherri Watson | 09 February, 2018, 02:00

IBoot is created to guarantee that a valid, trusted version of iOS is being loaded, and unlike other portions of iOS that have been open-sourced, it's been kept opaque for security reasons. While the iBoot source code which appeared on Github was for iOS 9 rather than the most recent releases, security experts have warned that it could still be used to exploit modern systems as much of the code is likely to remain the same. With iBoot, hackers will be able to find flaws and bugs in the iOS easily and crack or decrypt iPhones. Apple considers iBoot to be such a critical part of iOS that it offers $200,000 for vulnerabilities, the most in its bug bounty program. It's the first thing that starts up when the phone is turned on, because it loads the kernel and verifies that it was signed by Apple.

The leaked code is from iOS 9 based on the code comments included in the leak, so it's not necessarily a reflection of the current iOS boot loader.

It's not the first time that someone has posted iBoot's code online; Motherboard also discovered that the code was published to the site Reddit by a user named "apple_internals" a year ago. "This is the biggest leak in history", author and security researcher Jonathan Levin told Motherboard. Last year, a Reddit user with the moniker "apple_internals" posted the same code on the jailbreak subreddit.

Apple pointed out that its security features are multi-layered, and never exclusively rely on just the source code.

He continued on to suggest that the code appeared to be real iPhone source code because it aligned with the code he had reverse engineered himself.

It could provide hackers with a treasure trove of information they could use to design new attacks against Apple's operating system iOS. The semi-good news it that Apple filed a take down request with GitHub and the code is down now. So, Apple must own the copyright of the code in order to have it removed. "It is not open-source". Apple has not confirmed the authenticity of the leak.

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