Back in August, Apple filed a lawsuit against software company ‘Corellium’, for selling virtualisation software for iOS. Apple dubs the iOS virtual machine as infringement, while Corellium pitches its software as a tool for security researchers looking to help through bug bounty programs or ensuring specific apps are secure. This week, Corellium fired back at Apple once again, with an open letter explaining its stance on iOS virtualisation again.
In Apple’s lawsuit filing, the company takes issue with Corellium’s marketing, which states that the product can create ‘virtual’ Apple devices while charging up to $1 million per year for private installations of the software to anyone with the money. Apple says there “is no basis for Corellium to be selling a product that allows the creation of avowedly perfect replicas of Apple’s devices to anyone willing to pay”.
As reported by 9to5Mac, Corellium has since issued an open letter of concern about the lawsuit, stating that it should “give all security researchers, app developers and jailbreakers reason to be concerned”. The letter addresses that Apple is accusing Corellium of “trafficking” and giving “one or more persons access to develop software that can be used to jailbreak”.
Corellium’s argument is that by doing this, Apple is “asserting that anyone who provides a tool that allows other people to jailbreak, and anyone who assists in creating such a tool, is violating the DMCA”. The letter continues to say that Apple is using this lawsuit as “a trial balloon in a new angle to crack down on jailbreaking”, adding that the company “does not intend to limit this attack to Corellium” and that Apple is looking to “set a precedent to eliminate public jailbreaks”.
According to the letter, many developers and researchers rely on jailbreaks to test the security of their own apps and third-party apps, a lot of which is not possible without a jailbroken device. In that regard, software iOS virtualisation would be the preferred method as it does not involve jailbreaking an actual iPhone or iPad.
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KitGuru Says: So far, Apple has yet to comment on Corellium’s open letter but it is easy to see the merits of their argument. Still, Apple could have other reasons for wanting to put a stop to iOS virtualisation and more information could come out as the case continues. We’ll be keeping an eye on this for further updates in the weeks ahead.