Well, Apple might not have expected this but millions of dollars worth of iPhone user data were reportedly leaked by Apple suppliers in China. Reports have suggested that a group of people extracted data from Apple databases and sold it to Chinese black market vendors.
However, the good news is that the people responsible for the data theft have been caught by the Chinese authorities. According to reports from several media agencies, police have arrested 20 employees working for Apple's suppliers and vendors and they were involved in the underground data trading network.
The convicted workers reportedly had managed to get access to data, including names, phone numbers, Apple IDs and other information. With data in hand, the criminals sold them for between 10 and 80 yuan, or about $2 to $27. Shockingly, the thieves had managed to rake in 50 million yuan, which is about $7.36 million.
While the case seems to have been finally solved, reports say that the Chinese police had been working on the Apple data trading case since January. The police had made arrests starting May 3 across Guangdong, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces in China.
Notably, the police have disclosed that thieves worked in for Apple's suppliers and they had access to company's databases and other tools containing sensitive customer information. So the scammers were using Apple's internal systems. What's unclear is that whether the stolen data was specifically for customers in China or that it included users from other parts as well.
More importantly, Apple is known for maintaining strict user privacy. But it seems that sometimes it is not enough. With such case, the third-party employees and suppliers have somewhat created a point of concern for Apple. The Cupertino-based company will have to look into the streamlining who will have access to data.
Meanwhile, the arrested thieves have been charged and most likely they will serve some time in jail. Police have stated that the thieves' sales and online network have been taken down.