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Developers Publish Alleged Flaws in Apple’s iOS10 Code

Key Speakers At The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)Key Speakers At The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)
An attendee checks his mobile device ahead of the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 13, 2016. Apple Inc. has lost ground to Alphabet Inc.'s Google in the hot voice-activated assistant space. By releasing a software kit at today's Worldwide Developers Conference that lets programmers integrate Siri into their apps, it hopes to catch up with the maker of Google Now and the Android operating system -- as well as Inc.'s Alexa virtual helper -- and thus tie customers more closely to its iOS system. Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesMichael Short — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two individuals who appear to have access to the developer version of Apple’s forthcoming iOS10 software are publishing flaws they discovered to a public website.

The individuals, who refer to themselves on the site as Jerrick Davis and “decorumos” (and are apparently the same person), posted the alleged flaws to GitHub, a site that developers use to store and share code, and on a site called “iOS 10 Hacker wiki.”

A Twitter account that appears to belong to Davis, shared the link earlier this week:

The purported flaws relate to aesthetic and technical issues and are described under headings like “fixed page welcomes.” Security research Stefen Esser called attention to the GitHub page on Friday, and suggested Apple might attempt to use copyright law to remove it:

While any company’s initial versions of a new software release will contain bugs, the individuals who posted the flaws are likely violating Apple policy by revealing them to the public.

According to Fortune’s data editor Stacy Jones, the ordinary protocol for a developer given access to the Apple code would be to notify the company privately about any bugs. Showing the flaws to the public could, in some cases, provide malicious coders with avenues to undermine the security of Apple’s software.

Jones added that it’s unclear if the individuals running the GitHub page are trying to embarrass Apple, or if they simply forgot to set the privacy restrictions on the page.

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Under the terms of Apple’s agreement with its developers, the information the company provides is treated as confidential. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the page.

The company announced the release of its operating system for its iPhones and computers on Monday at WWDC, its annual developer event where it touts upcoming features.

The new iOS 10 features include improvements to iMessage, as well as fresh looks for Apple’s photo and music services. While full access to all these features is nominally available only to developers until later this year, there are ways device owners can get early access.

(Updated on 6/27 to add link re decorumos)