Motherboard talked about hackers breaking into iOS using prototypes stolen from Apple

Journalists found out that there is a separate market for such devices.

Collection of iPhone prototypes Photos by Julio Zompetti
Collection of iPhone prototypes Photos by Julio Zompetti

Hackers used to crack iPhones prototypes stolen from Apple production lines. With their help, attackers could quickly find gaps in the system. This was reported in the investigation of the publication Motherboard.

According to journalists, in recent years, stolen prototypes have become the most important tool for iOS hackers. The devices operate on a less protected version of the operating system, in which it is easier for attackers to get root access.

As the author of the publication Lorenzo Franceschi-Bichirai (Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai) found out, because of the demand for prototypes from hackers, a whole “gray” market of similar devices appeared. For example, iPhone X with a weakened protection can be purchased for $ 1,800 (about 120 thousand rubles).

According to the Motherboard interlocutors, prototypes have already helped Cellebrite develop a device for hacking iPhones. As it turned out the publication, prototypes have become so popular among researchers because of the peculiarities of the Secure Enclave (SEP) security processor.

In the case of the usual iPhone from the store, SEP encrypts all data and does not allow to explore the principles of its operation. However, thanks to prototypes, hackers were able to study the architecture of the processor.

Author Motherboard met with one of those who openly sell prototypes. The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he was not stealing iPhones, but was paying for them. He did not disclose exactly where the device takes.

As long as you do not beat [Apple] in the balls and do not show the prototype of the iPhone 11 or the unreleased device, they are mostly happy with everything.

American trading prototypes of iPhones

This is not the first time it has become known that Apple prototypes fell into the wrong hands. However, before that it was a question of one-time leaks: the most famous case was the iPhone 4, which the employee of the company left in the bar before his presentation.

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