Apple loses its lawsuit against iPhone virtualization company Corellium

iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has lost its lawsuit against security research firm Corellium.
  • The software that virtualizes iPhones will continue to be allowed.

Reported by The Washington Post, Apple has lost its legal battle with Corellium, the security research firm that created virtual iPhones that Apple had filed a copyright claim against.

The judge in the case ruled that Corellium's creation of virtual iPhones was not a copyright violation, in part because it was designed to help improve the security for all iPhone users. Corellium wasn't creating a competing product for consumers. Rather, it was a research tool for a comparatively small number of customers.

Apple had claimed that flaws discovered by Correllium could fall into hackers' hands because the company sold its product "indiscriminately," but Judge Rodney Smith called those claims "Puzzling, if not disingenuous."

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the lawsuit, Apple argued that Corellium's products could be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands because security flaws discovered by Corellium could be used to hack iPhones. Apple also argued that Corellium sells its product indiscriminately, a claim Corellium denied.

Will Strafach, a security researcher, says that the decision will lead to Apple devices being even safer for consumers.

"This is a major victory for security researchers looking to make Apple devices more safe for the world ... This is a very positive signal demonstrating that it may not be so easy for Apple to try to bully those who do things that Apple does not approve of."

Apple Security Research Device Program

Apple Security Research Device Program (Image credit: iMore)

Apple has also just launched its own Security Research Device Program that ships special iPhones to security researchers to help them discover potential vulnerabilities that can earn researchers as much as $1.5 million depending on the severity of the bug.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

3 Comments
  • "...that can earn researchers as much as $1.5 depending on the severity of the bug." Surely that is a typo?
  • Haha yes that got caught in some formatting updated to $1.5 million. Thanks for catching!
  • Yeah not many people would be rushing to test iOS security for $1.50 per bug. 😃