Apple sues a company that sells a virtual iPhone complete with iOS
We know that Apple is giving endlessly exceptional iPhone to certain security analysts. Who are searching for a major payday that could add up to as much as $1.5 million? The big jackpot will go to the researcher who finds a flaw in the iPhone and iOS. It will allow a hacker to take full control over it without the phone’s owner having to touch any part of the device. That discovery is good enough for $1 million dollars.
Any vulnerability found on beta software will reward the researcher with a 50% bonus. That’s because the discovery is taking place before the software has been disseminating to the public. To help researchers in finding flaws in iOS, a company called Corellium has been offering them a virtual version of the iPhone and iOS over the last few years. As indicated by Bloomberg, Apple is not taking this sitting down and has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court. For the Southern District of Florida for what it calls “a straightforward case of infringement of highly valuable copyrighted works.”
The Virtual Version:
Apple points out that without obtaining a license or permission from Apple, Corellium offers a “virtual” version of Apple’s devices with “fastidious attention to detail.” The tech giant says that not only does the facsimile look and respond the same on a web browser as the mobile device. Its customers pay for, Corellium also includes the appropriate computer code.
And sure, you might say that Corellium is doing Apple a big favor by selling the virtual iPhone. Because it will help researchers pass along their findings to Apple. However, as Apple points out in the suit, those who paid to use the virtual iPhone ended up selling discovered flaws to third-party exploit traders. This makes sense because a private installation of the virtual iPhone costs as much as $1 million according to the court papers filed by Apple.
Corellium’s copyrighted work
“This is a straightforward case of infringement of highly valuable copyrighted works. Corellium’s business is based entirely on commercializing the illegal replication of the copyrighted operating system and applications. 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.”-Excerpt from Apple’s lawsuit
Corellium’s Subscribers Choose the iPhone Model
Corellium’s subscribers can choose the iPhone model and the version of iOS they want to virtually run. Apple claims that at the Black Hat security conference that took place earlier this month. Corellium “specifically emphasized” that its Apple Product is an exact copy of Apple’s copyrighted works. Which was created to help researchers and hackers test iOS for vulnerabilities? Apple even points out that 15 days after revealing the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR on September 12, 2018, Corellium announced that its Apple Product supported the new phones and the latest version of iOS.
An image included in the suit shows how Corellium subscribers can even choose which virtual iPhone. They want to use and then select the version of iOS that they want to run on it. Once a subscriber creates a virtual iPhone? The copies are also created of that virtual device and the iOS version. Apple alleges that Corellium’s servers contain “numerous copies of iOS.”
Apple is seeking a permanent injunction against Corellium and an order preventing the company from marketing, selling, and distributing. The company also wants to stop all subscribers from using the virtual iPhone. They want the defendant to issue a notice. All past and present subscribers telling them that use of the product infringes on Apple’s copyrights. The organization also wants all infringing material destroyed. Also seeking damages, lost profits, court costs, and attorney’s fees.