The so-called iBoot code for iOS 9, the ninth iteration of Apple's iOS mobile operating system released in 2016, was briefly posted to GitHub before Apple sent a DMCA notice to the software platform demanding it be taken down. "But the leak of this source code is proof that no environment or OS is infallible, and application protection from within the application itself is crucial, especially for business-critical, data-sensitive applications", says Carter.
It is not known if the leaked source code will facilitate hackers and security researchers to find loopholes in the iPhone's operating system and make jailbreaking easier.
Since most of the iPhone users are now using iOS 10 or above, the source code breach of iOS 9 will not do any harm to the majority of the people. These devices may no longer use the leaked code. However, others pointed to past, more serious leaks, such as that for Windows NT/2000, and noted that iOS researchers have already likely reverse-engineered considerable portions of Apple's code. While Apple has said that the leak is essentially nothing for users to be concerned about, it makes one wonder whether Apple's ecosystem is as roughly locked down as once thought. "It is considered confidential and proprietary".
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Apple has played down the possible negative consequences of the leak, saying that the old source code exposure would not cause any security concern.
"The source code for a company's operating system is like the crown jewels - it is guarded very well", he told the BBC. "Assuming it is genuine, it has come from the inside somewhere".
"There are many layers of hardware and software protections built in to our products, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections", Apple said in its statement.
Apple confirmed in a statement that the source code had been posted online, but asserted it was three years old and that by design the security of their products aren't based on the secrecy of their source code.