With a new iPhone and Note 8 due to be released shortly, it’s been revealed that some companies will pay big dollars to get their hands-on phone secrets.
Ironically information about the leaks taking place at Apple factories was itself in a “leaked” security document.
Leaks are so bad that Apple has put in place a crack team of former members of the NSA, FBI, and Secret Service to go after ‘people who leak information’
Some employees at Chinese factories where components are manufactured are being promised rewards equalling as much as a year’s salary for smuggling a single product out of a factory a new report has revealed.
An internal briefing obtained by The Outline reveals the extent to which secrecy has become ‘a big deal’ to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Employees are turning to all sorts of tactics to smuggle products from the factories, the report explains.
This includes stashing parts in bathrooms, flushing them down the toilet to later retrieve them from a sewer, to throwing them over fences, and clenching them between toes.
In one case, 8,000 enclosures were stolen by women putting it in the underwire of their bra, according to the report.
Apple employees are forbidden from discussing unreleased products or services with anyone who hasn’t been ‘disclosed’ – but, the risk of passively mentioning details of a product still remains’.
In 2010, a prototype iPhone 4 was even left in a bar by an Apple employee, and later obtained by Gizmodo.
The hour-long presentation titled ‘Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple,’ which ironically has been leaked itself, included discussions by security officials and snippets from videos of Tim Cook giving keynote speeches, The Outline reports.
Led by Director of Global Security David Rice, Director of Worldwide Investigations Lee Freedman, and Jenny Hubbert, of the Global Security communications and training team, the briefing explains that the firm has investigators all around the world working to stop potential leaks in their tracks.
The factories screen millions of employees in a process the briefing compares to the TSA – and everyone must be checked each time they enter and exit the building.
Apple’s Global Security team is said to operate more like a ‘secrecy group,’ and one division called the New Product Security team focuses ‘very heavily on supply chain,’ the report reveals.
A product’s housing, also known as its enclosure, is the most valuable item that can be smuggled out, according to the report.
In 2013, for example, Apple had to buy back roughly 30,000 enclosures ahead of the iPhone 5C public reveal in efforts to ‘keep it out of every blog on Earth.’
‘If you have a housing, you pretty much know what we’re going to ship,’ Rice said, according to The Outline.
While leaks involving stolen parts from Apple’s factories in China were once the biggest problem, the experts say the risk has now shifted to Apple’s campuses in California.
Global Security has a program called Secrecy Program Management that embeds members into product teams to ensure employees don’t leak information.
‘Last year was the first year that Apple [campuses] leaked more than the supply chain,’ Rice said during the presentation, according to The Outline.
‘More stuff came out of Apple [campuses] last year than all of our supply chain combined.’