We’re now accustomed to a minor hardware and software leaks in the weeks and months ahead of any major Apple event, but Saturday’s massive Golden Master version iOS 11 leak may be the worst ever suffered by the incredibly secretive company.
So now, just a couple of days away from Apple’s big iPhone event, we await the inevitable leak blowback, and it’s already begun: We now have new details on how the leaks may have made it to the public.
That leak exposed a wide range of details ahead of Apple’s Tuesday event, including the names of the new iPhones, a new LTE Apple Watch, the name of Face ID and how it works, and a number of software goodies that would have otherwise wowed the audience in a couple of days.
Now? Assuming all the information from the leak pans out, it’s difficult to imagine many surprises from Tim Cook when he hits the stage in about 48 hours. And you can bet Cook isn’t happy about that.
Following the leak, Apple-focused podcaster and blogger John Gruber, who occasionally delivers insider details on the company’s products, explained how the leak information was likely obtained. And rather than pinning the leak on a hacker, he points the spotlight in a very surprising direction.
“I can state with nearly 100 percent certainty that it was [leaked by an Apple employee]”
“As best I’ve been able to ascertain, these builds were available to download by anyone, but they were obscured by long, unguessable URLs,” wrote Gruber. “Someone within Apple leaked the list of URLs to 9to5Mac and MacRumors. I’m nearly certain this wasn’t a mistake, but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee.”
Then on Sunday, the BBC reported that it had confirmed that an “anonymous source” had deliberately sent the leak information to 9to5Mac and MacRumors, allowing the publications to download the software “from Apple’s own computer servers.”
Gruber followed up on that report on Sunday by adding more intrigue to any questions around the leak’s origin.
“The BBC doesn’t say definitively that the leak was sent by an Apple employee, but I can state with nearly 100 percent certainty that it was,” wrote Gruber. “I also think there’s a good chance Apple is going to figure out who it was.”
Shame: betrayed many colleagues. No argument there.
Phone: Apple is rapidly narrowing list of suspects. What I’ve heard from multiple secs.
— John Gruber (@gruber) September 11, 2017
That might sound ominous, but Apple has long been known for the lengths to which it will go to ensure the secrecy of its products, so Cook and his team are likely working overtime to track down the person who leaked the information, assuming that they haven’t already.
“That person should be ashamed of themselves,” wrote Gruber, “and should be very worried when their phone next rings.”