As reported by the Daily Mail, a full leaked version of the upcoming operating system for iPhone and iPad appears to trace back to China, where an anonymous individual purchased a developer’s version of the iPhone 11 with a test version of iOS 14 installed on it.
The pre-release software quickly spread through hacker networks, and has driven a torrent of rumours and leaks about new features throughout the spring. According to a report in Vice, the version obtained by the hacker is dated to December 2019, and was intended to be used only by app developers working on software for iPhone or iPad.
Getting your hands on an iOS early in beta format can be extremely useful for developers. However, to be given such vast access so early on opens up possible illicit use of the file system. Criminal hackers will always look for loopholes and vulnerabilities in any OS, so by nature it would be wise to try and keep a lid on the ecosystem for as long as possible to reduce the chance of those vulnerabilities being located. The worst case scenario that threatens Apple and its users is that when iOS 14 is released there is already an exploit alongside it and a ready-to-go jailbreak version.
Apple will have to make extremely sure that any bugs found in this released iOS are patched before it’s brought to market to be confident any found vulnerabilities aren’t exploited. So it’s now a race against time or even a battle between Apple’s ethical hackers and the criminal unethical hackers.