Security researchers and hackers have had access to a leaked early version of iOS 14, the iPhone’s next operating system, since at least February, Motherboard reports.
That’s almost eight months before the expected official release of iOS 14, given that Apple usually publishes the new iOS in September along with the announcement of new phones.
Motherboard has not been able to independently verify exactly how it leaked, but five sources in the jailbreaking community familiar with the leak told us they think that someone obtained a development iPhone 11 running a version of iOS 14 dated December 2019, which was made to be used only by Apple developers. According to those sources, someone purchased it from vendors in China for thousands of dollars, and then extracted the iOS 14 internal build and distributed it in the iPhone jailbreaking and hacking community.
For the last few months, information about iOS 14 has been trickling out on the Apple blog 9to5Mac, which obtained a copy of the leak. At the same time, people who trade stolen or leaked Apple code and hardware have been distributing this early version of iOS 14 to several security researchers, giving them an opportunity to take an early look into new code, and find new vectors to attack it, according to four sources in the security research community.
Jailbreaking is the privilege escalation of an Apple device for the purpose of removing software restrictions imposed by Apple on iOS, iPadOS, tvOS and watchOS operating systems. Jailbreaking permits root access in Apple’s mobile operating system, allowing the installation of software that is unavailable through the official Apple App Store.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, this is a bad leak (and look) for Apple which, even more obviously, needs to triple down on security to prevent leaks and ferret out leakers.