A recent post on GitHub appeared to reveal a vital part of the iPhone’s operating system source code — a development that could open the phone up to an unprecedented level, to both security researchers and hackers.
The code posted on GitHub was labeled as iBoot, according to Motherboard. It’s the portion of the code that loads iOS when your iPhone turns on. While the post said the code was for iOS 9, there’s a good chance Apple is still at least using parts of it in iOS 11.
While there’s always the possibility the code could have been a fake, that possibility now seems unlikely, considering that Apple filed a DCMA takedown request and forced Github to remove the post.
A New Opening
Apple has historically been secretive with its code through the years, and iBoot has been a top priority in that regard. (As Motherboard notes, the company values finding boot process bugs most of all in its bounty program.) But this development could make jailbreaking iPhones — a technique which gives users more control over the iPhone and lets them install apps that aren’t approved by Apple — much easier.
As far as Apple goes, writer Jonathan Levin told Motherboard, “This is the biggest leak in history.”
What Does It All Mean?
Until there’s a known issue in the wild that may stem from malicious hacking of the iPhone, there’s no major cause for concern. There’s even the possibility that security researchers will be able to aid Apple more, now that this code has been seen. And honestly, for most iPhone users, this development likely won’t matter one way or the other.
[Concerned about your iPhone security? Check out our recent article on iPad And iPhone Apps To Block Ads And Malware.]
But for those who like to use jailbroken iPhones — and have found themselves thwarted by recent, advanced versions of the device — this could actually be welcome news. (Security Baron does not condone jailbreaking your iPhone due to increased security risks, among other potential drawbacks.)