Apple suppliers in China have been accused of selling user data worth $7.36 million from Apple’s internal servers.
Chinese authorities have arrested 22 suspects including 20 employees from Apple’s supply chain and vendors over accusations of stealing and underground data trading amounting to several millions of dollars. The 20 workers have been accused of trading user data including names, phone numbers, Apple IDs and other information at a price of 10 to 180 Yuan (roughly $2 to $27).
Despite Apple’s constant efforts to safeguard its loyal user data from government and investigating authorities, the insider threat has been accused of minting about 50 million Yuan (roughly $7.36 million) through their data trading network.
According to Chinese state media, the first instance of black market trading with Apple data was reported in January when the Chinese police started investigating the case. Later on, the Chinese authorities started busting the culprits on May 3 from across the Guangdong, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces.
The alleged data thieves have somehow managed to bypass Apple’s stringent security checks and hacked the company’s internal servers. The 22 accused are now under criminal detention while the investigating officers have managed to secure stolen credit cards, phones and computers during the unprecedented wave of arrests.
Following the arrest, the police have reportedly shutdown the online data-trading network while it is not yet known if the alleged thieves had stolen data of users residing outside China.