Apple subpoenas major bank and intelligence contractor in ongoing battle with Corellium


Company that ported iOS to browsers hits back at Apple
Corellium makes software that allows people to simulate iOS on browsers.
Photo: Corellium

Apple has reportedly subpoenaed Santander Bank and $50 billion intelligence contractor L3Harris Technologies as part of its ongoing battle with cybersecurity startup Corellium.

Apple wants to know how both groups are using Corellium’s software. This software lets companies run virtual versions of iOS for security and functionality testing.

According to Forbes, Apple is demanding that L3Harris subsidiary Azimuth Security and Santander provide it with answers. Apple’s lawyers want all internal communications about the use of Corellium software, contracts, and info on co-founder Chris Wade.

According to “sources with knowledge” of the matter, Santander has only trialled Corellium’s software. Apple’s subpoena names Daniel Cuthbert, head of cybersecurity research at Santander. Cuthbert previously tweeted favorably of Corellium.

Apple subpoenas in Corellium battle

Apple sued the former iPhone jailbreakers behind Corellium in August 2019. Apple’s lawyers that Corellium “copied everything: the code, the graphical user interface, the icons — all of it, in exacting detail.” It then sold this to people who wanted it.

Corellium hit back at Apple by saying that it is performing a crucial function for security researchers. Corellium says that Apple “is trying to exclusively control how security research is performed.” According to court filings, Apple was reportedly in discussions to acquire Corellium through 2018, before it changed its mind and sued the company.

With this latest round of subpoenas it seems that the battle is only heating up. “Apple is trying to intimidate a Corellium supporter by subpoenaing his employer, Santander, even though Santander has no relationship to Corellium,” David Hecht, Corellium’s counsel and partner at Pierce Bainbridge, told Forbes. Hecht described Apple as a “bully.”

Craig Federighi, Apple’s head of software development, reports being “harassed” by Corellium’s lawyers. In papers filed with the court, Federighi said that a process server representing Corellium recently came to his house. “He came to my front door and attempted to serve a subpoena to me, but my wife turned him away,” Federighi said.