Apple Boot Code Leaked By “Low Level” Employee

You might recall that part of the boot code for iOS was leaked recently on GitHub. Well, according to a new report from Motherboard, the person was encouraged to use their inside access to help friends out. In addition to the iBoot source code, the employee is said to have taken additional code, which has yet to be released:

A low-level Apple employee with friends in the jailbreaking community took code from Apple while working at the company’s Cupertino headquarters in 2016, according to two people who originally received the code from the employee. Motherboard has corroborated these accounts with text messages and screenshots from the time of the original leak and has also spoken to a third source familiar with the story.

Motherboard has granted these sources anonymity given the likelihood of Apple going after them for obtaining and distributing proprietary, copyrighted software. The original Apple employee did not respond to our request for comment and said through his friend that he did not currently want to talk about it because he signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple.

According to these sources, the person who stole the code didn’t have an axe to grind with Apple. Instead, while working at Apple, friends of the employee encouraged the worker to leak internal Apple code. Those friends were in the jailbreaking community and wanted the source code for their security research.

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.

According to two people who were in that original group, they hadn’t planned on the code ever leaving that circle of friends; a third friend who didn’t want the code but saw it on a friend’s computer also confirmed this account.

Eventually, however, the code was shared more widely and the original group of people lost control of its dissemination.

You can bet that if Apple hasn’t already figured out the source of the leak, they will now. And those people are in a whole world of hurt as Apple will hunt them down and make them pay.

Good luck to them.

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