Motherboard is reporting that the recent leaks of certain parts of Apple’s iOS source code – including historical iBoot and Baseband source pertaining to multiple iPhone models – is the work of a former Apple intern with close connections to the jailbreak community.
Many jailbreak and security research enthusiasts and professionals have been praying to an unknown god over the last few days as huge chunks of Apple’s iOS code has literally dropped into their laps. The leaker and source of this code were relatively unknown at the time after it started being shared across social networks, appeared on code-hosting site GitHub, and then finally garnered attention on the Reddit social site.
Now thanks to presumably new information, the theft, and leak of the source code are being attributed to an Apple intern who is no longer with the company. It seems that the plucky individual was interning at Apple when he took the source code, which Apple allegedly already knew about. That source code was then distributed amongst a small circle of his friends who were involved in the jailbreak community at the time. The theory is that having access to Apple’s internal iOS code – albeit only relatively small chunks – would assist their efforts in trying to hack into the iOS platform and bypass security measures put in place by Apple.
The report is suggesting that the code was only meant to be seen and shared with those five individuals, but was ultimately shared to a Discord chat group last year before finding its way onto GitHub last week.
That’s when things really started to pick up the pace and the code started to be shared frequently across the Internet. It’s being suggested that Apple was already made aware of the leak before the code was hosted on GitHub, which isn’t exactly surprising considering it has been passed around prominent members of the jailbreak community for a good few months prior to this outbreak occurring.
The Cupertino-based company has ordered GitHub to remove the code and has already publicly responded to the leak. Tim Cook’s men may not be too concerned about the release of the code but we’re sure there will be additional repercussions to come for the individual who stole it in the first instance.
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