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How Apple’s iOS source code got leaked seems almost too easy

by Brandon Russell | February 10, 2018February 10, 2018 1:00 pm PST

The iOS source code that was discovered on Github earlier this week wasn’t stolen by hackers or leaked by a high-level executive. According to a new report from Motherboard, it was a former Apple intern, who reportedly snagged the internal tools to give to his friends.

The intern reportedly handed the code to people he knew in the iOS jailbreaking community with the hopes they could use it to further break apart Apple’s notoriously locked down software. The original intention was to keep the code—and other important Apple tools—between a small group of developers. But it eventually got into the wrong hands, and the rest is history.

The code was first leaked to Reddit several months ago but was quickly taken down. It then made a surprise appearance on GitHub, prompting Apple to file a DCMA notice. Before showing up on GitHub, Apple was apparently fully aware the source code had been stolen. It’s unclear what repercussions the former intern faces, or if action has been taken already.

Once the leak gained widespread attention, Apple released a statement downplaying its severity.

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, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections.

Check out the entire Motherboard report, which dives deeper into how the intern and his friends acquired—and then eventually helped spread—one of Apple’s most prized possessions.

Motherboard

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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