Apple has increased its efforts to curb leaks coming from its supply chain.
A new report from The Information details the measures Apple has taken to prevent employees working in its factories from smuggling iPhone parts, as well as some of the various, crazy plans it has thwarted in the past.
In 2013, an employee stole thousands of iPhone 5C casings from a factory located in China. Ever since then, the Cupertino company has ramped up its security measures to prevent theft and leaks from the factory, creating a “New Product Security” team to monitor security at its most sensitive suppliers in China, even going as far as employing personnel from U.S military and intelligence as a supplier security consultants.
According to the report, factory workers have tried to smuggle parts using tissue boxes, crawl spaces, shoes, belt buckles, bras, and more. But by far, the craziest attempt was a tunnel that Apple workers slowly tried to dig to smuggle parts.
“People were chipping away little by little at the wall ‘Shawshank Redemption’ style,” said one person.
Here’s another story:
In one instance, before the iPhone X was released, a business that teaches technicians how to repair Apple devices had access to leaked glass screens for the new phone and began holding classes on repairing the screens. Apple secretly enrolled a contractor in the class to trace the source of the leaks, the person said.
In a report from 2017, an Apple executive was quoted as saying that more leaks now come from inside Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, than from the supply chain.
Suppliers that suffer leaks may be subject to multi-million-dollar fines, but Apple’s primary manufacturer Foxconn is said to be excluded from this policy due to its long-standing relationship with Apple.
The report over at The Information (paywalled) is certainly worth a read and contains more details of Apple’s various efforts to curb leaks.