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.
According to Motherboard, the intern who stole the code took it and distributed it to a small group of five friends in the iOS jailbreaking community in order to help them with their ongoing efforts to circumvent Apple’s locked down mobile operating system. The former employee apparently took “all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot,” according to one of the individuals who had originally received the code, including additional source code that was apparently not included in the initial leak.
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 last year. Eventually, the code was then posted in a Discord chat group, and was shared to Reddit roughly four months ago (although that post was apparently removed by a moderation bot automatically).
But then, it was posted again to GitHub this week, which is when things snowballed to where they are now, with Apple ordering GitHub to remove the code. According to Motherboard, a source at Apple claims that the company was already aware of the leak before it made it to GitHub, which would make sense, since it seems to have been passed around the jailbreaking community for some time already. Apple itself seems unconcerned about the potential security issues, with the company noting in a statement that the code is already three years old and that “the security of our products doesn’t depend on the secrecy of our source code.”