A mole in the iPhone leaks community feels betrayed by Apple


A mole in the iPhone leaks community feels betrayed by Apple

Apple’s been having a field day chasing leakers up and down the globe lately, in a bid to clamp down on iPhone information appearing prematurely in tech media. Recently, Chinese leaksters with access to Foxconn personnel – the iPhone assembler – were served legal notices to take down leaked info, or else.

The world’s richest company is so invested in unspoiled device announcements that it has apparently been planting double agents in the leaker community, reports Vice’s Motherboard. One Mr ​​Andrey Shumeyko has come forward with his story, because he said felt used by Apple’s Global Security team.

Yes, the one that employs former law enforcement and U.S. intelligence agents to track and punish. It’s not the first time Apple has done this, as it had a whistleblower from the leaker crowd as far back as 2017, but its scoops are seemingly rather chancey.

In the case of Mr Shumeyko, he contacted Apple’s Global Security team directly by emailing them he got a hold on the sources of a person selling an iPhone 11 with iOS 14 preview image before it’s announced.
His reasoning was apparently redemption and trying to earn some goodwill from Apple over his own leaks, in addition to some cash. The Global Security Team kept the channel of communications with him open for a year, which may have resulted in the crackdown on Chinese leaksters. 

His info also resulted in the demise of a German member in the Apple Maps team who offered to sell an internal account access and was subsequently fired. The problem? Shumeyko was never sure what Apple did with the leak source tips he sent it, and he never got any protection or remuneration from the company, as he envisaged he should have.

Now it feels like I ruined someone for no good reason, really,” he regrets, as he inevitably got the “we appreciate the information you provide, please feel encouraged to keep sharing what you have” runaround from Apple each time he tried to raise the friends with benefits questions.

He got so frustrated by the noncommittal attitude of the Security Team that he started leaking stuff himself again, immediately regretting it, too, and reaching out to Apple to apologise resulting in the following comment:

Well, apparently Mr Shumeyko doesn’t want to make anyone proud anymore, as he is back on the leak horse, after last communicating with Apple’s Security Team in July. “Don’t really enjoy doing this. But I also do need the extra money. Unfortunately, I have more pressing issues to be worried about other than Apple.” 

Needless to say, if Apple doesn’t pay him for leakster community info, the community itself will find a way to monetize the scoops. If Apple pays, there might be a bunch of tipsters with the same racket appearing out of the depth of Shenzhen’s tech industry, so the company is in somewhat of a pickle. 

Still, if the Security Team chooses to remunerate whistleblowers, it will have done more damage to their inter-community trust than if it keeps swatting separate leaksters with free info it’s waiting on someone’s goodwill to obtain.

This premise is further confirmed by one of the Apple device leak ring insiders: “I think it goes to show that you can’t openly and safely experiment with leaked Apple internal materials. These sort of events sort of enhance the hostile vibe sometimes felt in the community.” 

The only thing Apple needs now is to press forward with protecting and cherishing whistleblowers from those same rings, if it doesn’t want articles like these to dry the tipster info well for anyone who still thinks of sharing credible info with them. 

Otherwise, we’ll keep knowing all there is to know about the iPhone 13 and other iPhones before they are announced, removing a great deal of anticipation and mystery from the unveiling events. What do you think?

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