Rumor: iOS 11 GM leaked by disgruntled employee [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2017
This weekend's iOS 11 GM leak revealed -- and confirmed -- a multitude of new features and hardware set to debut this fall, likely spoiling a number of surprises Apple had in store for its special event next week. Taking a step back from the deluge of new information, at least one insider believes the early disclosure was perpetrated by a disgruntled employee.




Commenting on Friday's dissemination of final iOS 11 code, which tipped everything from "iPhone X" facial recognition features to a new LTE Apple Watch, prominent Apple blogger John Gruber said he is "nearly certain" the leak was intentional.

"I'm nearly certain this wasn't a mistake, but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee," Gruber said in a post to his blog Daring Fireball. "Whoever did this is the least popular person in Cupertino. More surprises were spoiled by this leak than any leak in Apple history."

Gruber does not cite sources, though the blogger is known to have his finger on the pulse of Apple, with contacts ranging from official spokespeople to "little birdies."

Apple seems to have made builds of the iOS 11 firmware available to download for anyone with knowledge of their special URLs. The site addresses were obscured to the point of being "unguessable," according to Gruber, suggesting the tipster who informed certain blogs and prominent Twitter personalities of their existence was an Apple employee.

Apple has always gone to extremes in efforts to keep future products under wraps, and such security measures are only heightened before a major launch. In the case of software like iOS, the company announces tentpole features at WWDC in June before seeding out beta versions to developers and brave public testers for evaluation. These beta versions are further refined until public release, which usually debuts alongside new iPhone hardware in September.

Revealing mainstay software functionality months ahead of launch is a necessary step in developing a usable, stable end product. That said, Apple traditionally keeps a few -- often titillating -- tentpole features out of developer and public betas until an official unveiling, a tactic designed to delight users and maintain an advantage over copycat competitors. Testing of these surprise features is limited to select in-house personnel.

Last year's Portrait Mode is a good example of an iOS keynote surprise. Restricted to iPhone 7 Plus, Portrait Mode uses the handset's wide angle and "telephoto" lenses, complex computer vision algorithms and depth mapping technology to create a series of image layers, which are selectively focused and defocused to simulate a bokeh effect. Including code points hinting at the feature in beta software would have betrayed the smartphone's unique dual camera array.

Information gleaned from the iOS 11 GM leak has so far yielded confirmation of an LTE Apple Watch and new AirPods revision, "Face ID" facial recognition details and setup process, a new "animoji" feature for Messages, the apparent marketing names of Apple's forthcoming iPhone lineup -- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X -- and more.

Apple is expected to announce these, and potentially other, products at a special media event on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at Apple Park. AppleInsider will be on the scene at Steve Jobs Theater with live coverage starting at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Update: The BBC has independently confirmed URLs to download the code from Apple's servers were leaked. Whether the leaker or leakers are Apple employees is still unclear.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    Seems like this Tuesday's official announcements from Apple will just be a confirmation presentation.  Only thing left is the prices for Apple to release.  Just hope Apple has some other surprises.
    brian greenrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,037member
    This piece of trash belongs in jail. 
    brian greenandrewj5790repressthisstarwarschaickasuddenly newtonbrucemcmacxpressrogifan_newmagman1979
  • Reply 3 of 57
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,098member
    ... Like all these other rumor leakers! Err?
    repressthis
  • Reply 4 of 57
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,211member
    sog35 said:
    It will be easy to find this guy.

    Only a few people had access to these secret files.
    But how do find out which of them leaked? All they did was give out a non-secured list of URLs. Perhaps Apple needs to be a bit more stringent on how they give out the software. Maybe they should give each downloader their own URL. 
    edited September 2017 repressthiswilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 57
    Rayz2016 said:
    sog35 said:
    It will be easy to find this guy.

    Only a few people had access to these secret files.
    But how do find out which of them leaked? All they did was give out a non-secured list of URLs. Perhaps Apple needs to be a bit more stringent on how they give out the software. Maybe they should give each downloader their own URL. 
    I'm pretty sure that the time that iOS 11 GM was downloaded and from which computer was used, was logged somewhere, so this should be relatively easy to pinpoint the person who did this. 
    Scot1randominternetperson
  • Reply 6 of 57
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    Rayz2016 said:
    sog35 said:
    It will be easy to find this guy.

    Only a few people had access to these secret files.
    But how do find out which of them leaked? All they did was give out a non-secured list of URLs. Perhaps Apple needs to be a bit more stringent on how they give out the software. Maybe they should give each downloader their own URL. 
    You should ask yourself how they know the employee was disgruntled. If the rumour about it being a disgruntled employee is true then it seems a safe bet they know who the culprit is.
    edited September 2017 repressthis
  • Reply 7 of 57
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    sog35 said:
    It will be easy to find this guy.

    Only a few people had access to these secret files.
    But how do find out which of them leaked? All they did was give out a non-secured list of URLs. Perhaps Apple needs to be a bit more stringent on how they give out the software. Maybe they should give each downloader their own URL. 
    How do they know the employee was disgruntled? If the rumour about it being a disgruntled employee is true then it seems a safe bet they know who the culprit is.
    Oh hell, maybe it was a fully gruntled employee....
    LukeCagecgWerksslprescottrandominternetperson
  • Reply 8 of 57
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,211member
    macseeker said:
    Seems like this Tuesday's official announcements from Apple will just be a confirmation presentation.  Only thing left is the prices for Apple to release.  Just hope Apple has some other surprises.
    For me, the surprise will be showing how all this stuff works as conveniently as TouchID. 
    cgWerkschiacanukstormrepressthiswillcropointwilliamlondonmacxpressyojimbo007magman1979
  • Reply 9 of 57
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,211member

    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    sog35 said:
    It will be easy to find this guy.

    Only a few people had access to these secret files.
    But how do find out which of them leaked? All they did was give out a non-secured list of URLs. Perhaps Apple needs to be a bit more stringent on how they give out the software. Maybe they should give each downloader their own URL. 
    How do they know the employee was disgruntled? If the rumour about it being a disgruntled employee is true then it seems a safe bet they know who the culprit is.
    He doesn't have to be disgruntled.  He could just be a chap being paid to leak stuff. If they do know he is then his head needs be mounted on a pike outside the walls of Kings Landing. 

    I'm kidding!

    …Braavos will do. 
    edited September 2017 pujones1williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 57
    Rayz2016 said:
    macseeker said:
    Seems like this Tuesday's official announcements from Apple will just be a confirmation presentation.  Only thing left is the prices for Apple to release.  Just hope Apple has some other surprises.
    For me, the surprise will be showing how all this stuff works as conveniently as TouchID. 
    Yeah, you're right on that point.
    repressthis
  • Reply 11 of 57
    WTF, there goes the element of surprise and delight, this is fucking bullshit.

    Hey leaker, you work at Apple, the wealthiest and one of the most innovative companies in the history of the world, and I'd gladly swap jobs with you in a heartbeat.  

    Your fingerprints are all over this leak and you will be found out.
    repressthischaickawatto_cobramagman1979
  • Reply 12 of 57
    Rayz2016 said:

    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    sog35 said:
    It will be easy to find this guy.

    Only a few people had access to these secret files.
    But how do find out which of them leaked? All they did was give out a non-secured list of URLs. Perhaps Apple needs to be a bit more stringent on how they give out the software. Maybe they should give each downloader their own URL. 
    How do they know the employee was disgruntled? If the rumour about it being a disgruntled employee is true then it seems a safe bet they know who the culprit is.
    He doesn't have to be disgruntled.  He could just be a chap being paid to leak stuff. 
    I doubt it, Apple tends to not hire those kind of people, as well as those type of people are not really attacked to a tight lipped company like Apple. 

    I replied before the edit my apologies 
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 13 of 57
    This is a surefire way to make sure you never get hired by any other company in Silicon Valley. 

    I hope they find the guy. 
    edited September 2017 magman1979
  • Reply 14 of 57
    I don't feel like the surprises were "spoiled" by this leak. We had lots of ideas what might be coming already from previous rumors and leaks.

    Look at FaceID as an example. We don't know how fast it is, what angles it works from or how secure it is. These are all things that could be demoed and still offer some wow factor.

    RealFace claimed identical twins couldn't fool it. Imagine Apple bringing out 5 sets of identical twins each with their own iPhone and with the same haircut/style. Then swapping iPhones with each other and finding out they won't unlock. Then swapping back and they instantly unlock. It would be a powerful demonstration of the security of FaceID.

    We've also found out that the rumored 4K/60 and 1080P/240 modes are present and there's some new portrait/lighting modes. While we know the modes we haven't seen actual footage. There are a lot of things that could bring a massive improvement to the camera thanks to rumored AI. Like image stabilization, exposure or focus tracking. We also don't know if all cameras have optical image stabilization, how many pixels they have or the f-stop rating. Lots of potential wow factor here as well.

    Speaking of AI, the A11 is a huge unknown (except the name, Mistral). If it has a neural processor, what is Apple using it for? Offline Siri? In association with differential privacy to provide more context aware information? Power management?  Some other unknown?

    So while some features have been leaked, the fine details of each are still unknown. 
    Soliradarthekatrepressthistmayanantksundaramrandominternetpersonmagman1979
  • Reply 15 of 57
    What's dumb is that the firmware was available to be downloaded by anyone who had the URL. It should've required authentication.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 16 of 57
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,630member
    macseeker said:
    Seems like this Tuesday's official announcements from Apple will just be a confirmation presentation.  Only thing left is the prices for Apple to release.  Just hope Apple has some other surprises.
    I sure hope so, because at least to me, this list seems super boring so far. Animojis? Seriously?

    Rayz2016 said:
    For me, the surprise will be showing how all this stuff works as conveniently as TouchID. 
    Heh, no doubt. Although given the recent track record of dongles and port removals, I have to wonder if 'works as conveniently' is even a criteria anymore.

  • Reply 17 of 57
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,211member
    I don't feel like the surprises were "spoiled" by this leak. We had lots of ideas what might be coming already from previous rumors and leaks.

    Look at FaceID as an example. We don't know how fast it is, what angles it works from or how secure it is. These are all things that could be demoed and still offer some wow factor.

    RealFace claimed identical twins couldn't fool it. Imagine Apple bringing out 5 sets of identical twins each with their own iPhone and with the same haircut/style. Then swapping iPhones with each other and finding out they won't unlock. Then swapping back and they instantly unlock. It would be a powerful demonstration of the security of FaceID.

    We've also found out that the rumored 4K/60 and 1080P/240 modes are present and there's some new portrait/lighting modes. While we know the modes we haven't seen actual footage. There are a lot of things that could bring a massive improvement to the camera thanks to rumored AI. Like image stabilization, exposure or focus tracking. We also don't know if all cameras have optical image stabilization, how many pixels they have or the f-stop rating. Lots of potential wow factor here as well.

    Speaking of AI, the A11 is a huge unknown (except the name, Mistral). If it has a neural processor, what is Apple using it for? Offline Siri? In association with differential privacy to provide more context aware information? Power management?  Some other unknown?

    So while some features have been leaked, the fine details of each are still unknown. 
    All very true. At the moment, there is a notion that FaceID is the best they could do because they couldn't get the fingerprint reader to work under the screen. A "twins" demo would blow that notion clear out of the water. 
    edited September 2017 magman1979
  • Reply 18 of 57
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,211member
    http://bgr.com/2017/07/17/iphone-8-features-facial-recognition-touch-id-replace/

    A bit more info on the company they bought to implement FaceID. 

    Apparently it is smart enough to distinguish between twins

    The recognition isn't static: it applies some sort of AI to work through changes in your face, such as growng facial hair or wearing glasses.

    Mrs Rayz2016 will be happy about that – she sometimes goes for weeks without shaving. 

    I'm kidding!

    …Three days, tops. 

    edited September 2017 repressthisirelandslprescottmagman1979
  • Reply 19 of 57
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,630member
    Rayz2016 said:
    At the moment, there is a notion that FaceID is the best they could do because they couldn't get the fingerprint reader to work under the screen.
    Not exactly an unearned notion.
    repressthis
  • Reply 20 of 57
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,211member
    seanr said:
    What's dumb is that the firmware was available to be downloaded by anyone who had the URL. It should've required authentication.
    Authentication and then some kind of unique tag attached to every download. 
    chaicka
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