It said that the iBoot source code is the part of iOS that is responsible for ensuring a trusted boot of the operating system. "Not open-source" The code was uploaded to GitHub by a user account known as "ZioShiba".
Earlier this week, a portion of iOS source code was posted online to GitHub, and in an interesting twist, a new report from Motherboard reveals that the code was originally leaked by a former Apple intern. "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", the company told TechCrunch in a statement.
Apple has led a bug bounty program in the past, offering researchers up to $200k to expose vulnerabilities in the boot process - meaning this leak could be another opportunity to strengthen security, depending on who gets their hands on it.
Initially, the employee only shared the code with a handful of friends.
Thanks to the use of the Secure Enclave Processor chip in modern iPhones, jailbreaking iOS and accessing a phone's data has been made into an unattractive challenge by Apple.
The plan was originally to make sure that the code never left the initial circle of five friends, but apparently the code spread beyond the original group sometime a year ago.
The version of iBoot posted appears to be from iOS 9, which means it may not have a huge impact on the current version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 11. "An attacker can look at how Apple has documented their fuzzing process and look for bugs outside of that process, specifically so that the bugs they find will last longer".
Apple's iOS source code has been a closely-guarded secret for some time, and many have argued that the company's closed ecosystem is what contributes the most to its strong security. The same also applies to jail-breakers who'd like to offer hacks for popular iPhone or iPad models that could open up more functionality with the device.
Seventy percent of iOS devices are highly vulnerable to such exposure, recent research suggests.