The source of a major iOS 14 leak, which resulted in numerous potential features being revealed months earlier than expected, may have been discovered.
An early version of Apple’s iOS 14 operating system has been circulating for the last three months at least, according to a report from Motherboard.
The site’s sources say security researchers and hackers have had access to the source code since February – nearly eight months before Apple before plans to launch the next-gen OS to consumers.
The report says “the entire version of the operating system has leaked” and has since been “widely circulated.” That has allowed hackers and security researchers to seek early weaknesses, the report says.
According to at least five sources, the source of the leak is a developer version of the iPhone 11 that was running iOS 14 way back in December. Those sources say that phone was purchased “from vendors in China for thousands of dollars.”
Related: iOS 14 wishlist
The buyers extracted the internal build of iOS 14, and then distributed it among jailbreakers. It is thought this is the source of various leaks of the iOS 14 that emerged at the turn of the year. We learned that Apple was plotting over-ear headphones and that the company may be planning to offer small portions of apps called Clips without the need to download them. It also gave us a hint into a potential expansion into fitness videos via the iOS, watchOS and tvOS ecosystem.
Motherboard asked a security expert to review the leaked code. Ryan Duff said: “It gives insight into a decrypted copy of the iOS file system months before release so it could be very useful. It’s pre-release, lots could change, but it’s a trove of information. I can’t say this will give an easy jailbreak or anything like that, but it’s way more information about an upcoming iOS than we ever see normally.”