Chinese authorities have arrested nearly two dozen individuals involved in an underground network which snatched personal user data from Apple databases to sell on the black market.
Most of the 22 people detained worked as third-party Apple distributors/suppliers in China where they had access to the company’s internal databases of user info. The scammers extracted this sensitive data — including names, phone numbers and Apple IDs — and sold the data in pieces for between 10 to 180 yuan.
To give an indication of the scope of their operation, in total, the network reportedly raked in more than 50 million yuan.
It took authorities in southern China months to unravel the network’s illicit activities. Over the weekend, the suspects were all arrested, according to a statement from police in Zhejiang province.
This kind of data pilfering is nothing new in China, but it does raise new concerns about the security of Apple’s supply chain, which is apparently rife with opportunistic individuals who have access to sensitive data.
It’s not clear how many Apple users had their personal data sold on the black market, or how many of those users were from outside of China.
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat