A core part of Apple's iOS source code may have been leaked online, potentially opening doors to new iPhone hacks

One of Apple’s most closely-guarded secrets appears to have been leaked online. This secret is the source code to iBoot, a critical part of getting your OS up and running.

Representational image

Representational image

iBoot, like the BIOS in a computer, ensures that your OS is running in a “trusted” environment. This is the piece of code which ensures that your device’s hardware hasn’t been tampered with or that your OS code is intact.

As Motherboard notes, “it’s the program that loads iOS, the very first process that runs when you turn on your iPhone.” If this program is compromised, your entire phone could be compromised.

It’s code like this that hackers and the NSA would die for. This source code could let the likes of the NSA and other hackers develop tools for breaking into an iPhone by compromising the operating system at a very basic level.

The leaked code has been posted anonymously on GitHub and is available for anyone to access.

While the code does appear to belong to iOS 9 — we’re now on iOS 11 — there is a possibility of code overlap between the two versions. Motherboard quotes Jonathon Levin, an expert on iOS and macOS as saying that “this is the biggest leak in history”. There is no official confirmation that the code is genuine, but Levin appears to be quite confident that it is indeed genuine.

Apple has a history of prioritising security and a lot has changed since iOS 9. The hardware of iPhones has also seen massive updates for security, so it is also unlikely that the leaked code can do any significant damage to current generation iPhones.

Updated Date: Feb 08, 2018 19:10 PM