Apple Assures Customers their Phones Are Safe Despite Code Leak

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He acknowledged the leak could make it easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities in Apple's operating system, but added that the source code's age makes it likely such bugs have already been found by people trying to build iOS jailbreaks.

The iOS device maker maintained that the leaked source code is now largely irrelevant since majority of iPhone and iPad users have already been updated to iOS 10 versions and up.

-The leaked source code is legit.

According to the site's sources - whose information has been corroborated with text messages and screenshots from when the information was originally leaked as well as with an unnamed third party familiar with the events - the intern originally leaked the code privately to friends in the jailbreak and security research community.

It turns out that people active in the jailbreak community encouraged a low-level Apple employee to leak the source code in the first place. On the other hand, the news that Apple's internal systems have not been breached by an outside attacker is to be welcomed - if, of course, the sources' claims ring true. "Having the iBoot source code and not being inside Apple...that's unheard of".

Those same mates also happened to be iOS jailbreakers, obsessed with fiddling with Apple's iPhone software to remove the restrictions imposed by the firm.

That low-level employee took the code from Apple while working at the company's Cupertino headquarters in 2016. Microsoft warned at the time that anyone who searching for or sharing such code was engaging in illegal activity, and sent letters to that effect to people who had downloaded the code.

"He pulled everything, all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot", a friend of the intern told Motherboard, as the intern has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple and is, therefore, keeping tight-lipped about the leak.

According to the people, they never wanted the code to leave the group ever but eventually, the code was shared widely and the original group lost control of its dissemination. "Not out of greed but because of fear of the legal firestorm that would ensue", a person said.

"It can be weaponised. [But] information isn't free when it inherently violates personal security", the group said.

"We did our damnedest best to try to make sure that it got leaked [only after the code] got old", they added.

It spread beyond the original crew sometime past year, making it onto an online chat group on Discord (a messaging platform for gamers), and then Reddit around four months ago - but that post was subsequently auto-removed by a moderation bot.

The leak resurfaced on Github last week, going viral online - it appears to be a copy of the original leak. Within hours, people on Twitter were talking about it.

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