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NuPhoto / Getty Images

Source code used by Apple to securely boot iPhones leaked online and was widely distributed until Thursday morning, when Apple used copyright law to get the code taken down. Newer iPhone models have additional security measures that will likely mitigate any security problems.

Why it matters: The source code gives malicious actors an unprecedented look at the internals of one of iPhone's key security features. But even if attackers could use the code to discover vulnerabilities in iOS 9, that does not mean most iPhone users are currently at risk.

How it works: The code, posted to the programming repository GitHub and first spotted by reporters at Motherboard, controls the iBoot function in iOS 9. iBoot checks to make sure the operating system is authentic before booting the phone.

iOS 9 isn't the current iOS, but it also isn't nothing: iOS is currently at version 11, meaning the code is likely out of date. And nearly all phones in the Touch ID era include a "secure enclave" processor — a processor that makes it much more difficult to tamper with the boot process.

Still, for legacy phones or by potentially pairing the leaked code with future vulnerabilities in boot security, it may provide some additional security risk.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists — National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
  5. Cities: Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. World: London police arrest dozens during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.