Earlier in the week, source code for iBoot, an integral component responsible for starting the system of iOS, was leaked on GitHub and subsequently removed after Apple intervened. The code belonged to iOS 9, Apple’s three-year old operating system, which could give hackers a chance to potentially jailbreak iPhones. In the aftermath of the leak, Apple sent out a DMCA notice to GitHub and since then the link has been taken down. Now, a fresh report by Motherboard points out that the iOS source code was leaked by a low-level Apple employee, who had taken the code from Apple back in 2016 to share with his friends in the jailbreaking community.
Motherboard sourced the information from those who were involved. The said Apple employee’s intention was not to harm the company and the person was not unhappy with the organisation in general. Instead, he/she was instigated by friends in the jailbreaking community to get the source code in order to make jailbreaking iPhones easier.
Motherboard’s report states -
The person took the iBoot source code--and additional code that has yet to be widely leaked--and shared it with a small group of five people.
“He pulled everything, all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot," a friend of the intern told me. Motherboard saw screenshots of additional source code and file names that were not included in the GitHub leak and were dated from around the time of this first leak.
As per the report, the group of five people who had the code did not intend to share it but it somehow managed to get out there. According to what the unnamed sources told Motherboard, the leak wasn't the "full leak." "It's not the original leak-it's a copy," said one source.
After Apple confirmed that the code was indeed that of iOS 9, the company went on to say, “Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked but by design, the security of our products doesn’t depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products.”