It is a well-known secret that security researchers and hackers already have a copy of iOS 14. The upcoming iOS has been leaked considerably and we already know what to expect. Leaks pertaining to unreleased iOS is not something new and happens almost every year. However this time, researchers and hackers seem to have gotten their hands on iOS 14 as early as December 2019.
Origin of iOS 14 Leak
Apple releases new iOS in September alongside new iPhones. In other words, the iOS 14 has been leaked literally eight months prior to the release. Usually screenshots and hands-on videos are leaked, this time around the operating system has been leaked in entirety.
Motherboard has traced the leak to five sources from the jailbreaking community. One of the sources believes that someone purchased a development iPhone 11 running iOS 14 dated December 2019. After purchasing, the iOS 14 was likely copied from the device with root access. This comes as a surprise especially since Apple is known for being very secretive.
Those who bought iOS 14 are selling it to security researchers and hackers. The researchers will benefit as they get a sneak peek of the upcoming iOS and find out ways to gain access. Leaked iOS 14 could also be sold to people who leak new features apart from hackers and Researchers. One might argue that the final iOS 14 will look very different from the initial internal builds. That said, hackers and researchers will still get a large amount of lead time.
Thanks to the early iOS 14 leaks, the researchers and hackers are able to find more number of iOS vulnerabilities. iOS is often regarded as one of the most secure operating systems. This doesn’t seem to be true anymore. In fact, just recently Zerodium, a bug broker company stopped accepting iOS exploits and bugs. Moreover, the price paid for such exploits and bugs is also plunging thanks to high supply.
Leaked iOS 14 Build Changes Hands
Apparently leaked Apple code is traded on Twitter and is accompanied by a hashtag called #AppleInternals. The buyer and seller, both are anonymous and strike deals online. One of the researchers shared a leaked iOS 14 copy with Motherboard and said it is only for “internal use.” The shared iOS 14 code was the same one that was leaked online.
What Happens Now?
The earlier than usual iOS 14 leaks spell trouble in more than one way. It is being widely traded in jailbreaking communities even when the first public release is yet to arrive. We are pretty sure Apple won’t take it lying down. The company is very vocal about safety and privacy. Most of the time Apple has acknowledged security issues and worked on them. Those who have a copy of iOS 14 might face severe repercussions from Apple. Lastly, the development build leak points at Apple’s lack of security measures when it comes to preventing leaks.