iOS 14 Leaks Traced Back To Apple’s Chinese Supply Chain, Here's What Went Wrong

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A surprising number of leaks concerning iOS 14 and the coming iPhone models have been turning up over the last few months. Leaks concerning Apple hardware and software are certainly not new, but they seem to be occurring more frequently recently. A new report claims that a leaked version of iOS 14 that has been circulating among security researchers and hackers since at least February.

While it's unclear how the leaked version of iOS 14 made it into the wild, Vice reports that five sources in the jailbreaking community who are familiar with the leaked version of iOS have said that they believe someone obtained a development iPhone 11 running a version of iOS 14 dated December 2019. That device was reportedly designed to be used by Apple developers. Those sources claim that someone was able to purchase the iPhone from vendors in China for thousands of dollars and extracted iOS 14 from the phone, and distributed it among the jailbreaking and hacking community.

According to people who claim to have used the OS extracted from the device, since the file was very early, a lot could change before the operating system launches. However, some of the tidbits that have come from the operating system have proven entirely true. One instance is the new iPhone SE that turned up in iOS 14, tipping the high-end A13 SoC under the hood. Another leak has claimed the iPhone 12 Pro will get new 3D hardware inside.

The fact that the operating system leaked so early is giving hackers and researchers a big jump ahead of the official launch, providing plenty of time to probe the operating system and look for vulnerabilities. Another interesting tidbit that leaked in iOS 14 is that Apple is working on something called "Clips" that will allow developers to let iPhone users try interactive content from their apps without actually downloading the app. Perhaps more important to many is that the leaks have suggested iPhone users will finally be able to set third-party apps as default for actions such as opening email and webpages. Apple will certainly be looking to plug whatever hole the operating system leaked out of, but it seems unable to stop the leaks so far.