Culture 3 min read

Apple Sues Company For Selling Virtual Copies of iOS

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wutzkohphoto /

Apple has filed a lawsuit against the startup, Corellium LLC, for creating and reselling virtual copies of iOS.

Corellium prides itself as the first and only platform to offer Android, Linux, and iOS virtualization on ARM. Simply put, it enables users to interact with virtual iOS-powered devices like iPhone or iPad through its web portal.

That way, ‘white hackers’ could perform various activities on the operating systems without putting their smart devices at risk. For example, a security researcher can use the virtual iOS device to hunt for potential bugs.

When discovered, they can load up previous versions of iOS to know how long the bug has been around. If the bug bricks the virtual operating system, it wouldn’t matter. Users just have to boot up a new one rather than purchase a new iPhone or iPad.

But Apple has had enough.

In its court filings, the iPhone maker accused Corellium of “copying its operating system, graphical user interface and other aspects of the devices without permission.”Also, the tech giant said selling access to the virtual iOS devices is a violation of copyright laws.

Corellium’s iOS Virtual Copies are Illegal

Meanwhile, Corellium claims that stimulated devices exist to enable white hackers to discover and report vulnerabilities rather than exploit them. But Apple is not having any of it.

The Cupertino-based company wrote in its lawsuit that the startup’s real goal was far from fixing vulnerabilities. Corellium is allegedly profiting from the blatant infringement by encouraging users to sell discovered information on the open market instead of reporting them to Apple.

Furthermore, Apple accused Corellium of copying new versions of iOS without including the requirement that hackers report discovered vulnerabilities to Apple.

Apple wrote in its complaint: 

“The product Corellium offers is a “virtual” version of Apple mobile hardware products, accessible to anyone with a web browser. Specifically, Corellium serves up what it touts as a perfect digital facsimile of a broad range of Apple’s market-leading devices—recreating with fastidious attention to detail, not just the way the operating system and applications appear visually to bona fide purchasers, but also the underlying computer code. Corellium does so with no license or permission from Apple.”

News of the lawsuit came days after Apple announced its iOS Security Research Device Program. Aside from a maximum bounty of $1 million for finding vulnerabilities, the program also promises to give security researchers access to less-locked-down iOS devices.

Following Apple’s filing, the court issued a summon, which gives Corellium 21 days after delivery to respond to the lawsuit.

Read More: iOS 13 Beta Version Gives Hint of the Apple 11 Event Date

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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