Security Researchers Afraid to Use iPhone Virtualization Corellium After Apple Lawsuit

Security researchers are scared to use, buy, or even talk about iPhone emulation software Corellium after Apple levied a lawsuit against the company, reports Motherboard.

corellium
Apple in August 2019 filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Corellium, a mobile device virtualization company that works with iOS. In the lawsuit, Apple claimed that Corellium had illegally replicated the operating system and apps that run on the ‌iPhone‌ and the iPad.

"Corellium has simply copied everything: the code, the graphical user interface, the icons - all of it, in exacting detail," reads Apple's lawsuit.

Corellium initially responded by suggesting that its software helps Apple by making it easier for security researchers to track down iOS bugs, but later said that Apple was waging war on jailbreaking and that the lawsuit should concern security researchers, jailbreakers, and app developers.

Though the legal battle between Apple and Corellium is ongoing, it has successfully scared people away from Corellium's software because Apple has sought information from companies that have used Corellium's software and those companies are afraid of retribution.

"Apple has created a chilling effect," a security researcher familiar with Corellium's product, who asked to remain anonymous because he wasn't allowed to talk to the press, told Motherboard.

"I don't know if they intended it but when they name individuals at companies that have spoken in favor [of Corellium], I definitely believe retribution is possible," the researcher added, referring to Apple's subpoena to the Spanish finance giant Santander Bank, which named an employee who had Tweeted about Corellium.

Some security researchers told Motherboard that they're afraid to use Corellium because of the possibility of retribution from Apple, while others refused to comment at all. One security researcher said he'd have a legal look into it if he needed Corellium's software, while another said he'd get legal advice before using it in the future.

Not all security researchers, however, are worried. One researcher, Elias Naur, told Motherboard that he uses Corellium to test code written in the Go language for iOS devices. With Corellium, he no longer needs to test on two old and broken iPhones.

Security researchers have complained that Apple's lawsuit against Corellium is about Apple wanting control over research done on iOS and the bugs that are found.

Apple is continuing to pursue the lawsuit, and on April 20, asked Chris Wade, Corellium's founder, for all documents and communications related to him obtaining valuable dev-fused or prototype iPhones, which are designed for internal testing but sometimes escape Apple's clutches. Wade has denied using dev-fused iPhones for the development of Corellium.

It remains unclear how the lawsuit will ultimately turn out, but Apple is successfully making researchers think twice about using Corellium's tools amid the legal dispute.

Top Rated Comments

Attirex Avatar
27 months ago
I don't even play a lawyer on TV, but I'm pretty sure you can't copy someone's IP w/o their permission and then make money from it.....? Right? Bueller?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ingambe Avatar
27 months ago
That's sad, security through obscurity is broken by design
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lkrupp Avatar
27 months ago

That's sad, security through obscurity is broken by design
What on God’s green earth are you babbling about?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rp2011 Avatar
27 months ago
Something so amazingly fishy about Correlium. Especially with the DOD on their side.
And how is a company able to copy everything thousands of engineers and years of work conjure out of thin air like that?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkukoc Avatar
27 months ago

Not all security researchers, however, are worried. One researcher, Elias Naur, told Motherboard that he uses Corellium to test code written in the Go language for iOS devices. With Corellium, he no longer needs to test on two old and broken iPhones.
What a great comment! That alone just proves Apple's case. Lets emulate the OS so no one needs to purchase devices. I can test code.. sell my services..all thanks to someone else ripping off Apple.. oh but I didn't do anything wrong here. You have got to be kidding me.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
luvbug Avatar
27 months ago
So, a company copies all the code out of another company's product, which is covered by copyright and any number of software patents, for its own purposes (to make money), but claims to be doing no wrong/harm?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...