The Hustle

Apple built an iArmy to clamp down on thievery… and it’s working

Apple’s security team has clamped down on leaks by operating with military efficiency.


July 18, 2019

Over the years, thieves and copycats have gone to dramatic lengths to steal secrets from Apple.

Six years ago, a rogue warehouse worker falsified documents, recruited a security guard, and infiltrated the gantlet of security cameras to steal thousands of iPhone 5C parts before the highly anticipated phones hit the markets, reports The Information.

But it wasn’t an isolated incident…

Everyone wants a bite of Apple

Since Apple is so secretive about its product releases, information about the company’s upcoming products has obsessed fanboys and criminals alike. 

How obsessed are people with Apple info, you ask?  Exhibit A: 9to5Mac, a website dedicated to round-the-clock Apple rumors that features articles like “A comprehensive guide to the modern furnishings of Apple Store Boardrooms.”

But other Apple-heads are more nefarious: Factory workers have attempted to smuggle out parts in mop water, garbage, and hidden crawl spaces — and even attempted to dig tunnels out of the factory. 

So Apple got super serious about security

To ward off thieves and copycats, Apple created a New Product Security (NPS) team to manage security at 100 factories, recruiting personnel from the NSA and the US military to secure their assets.

Apple’s private security program — the largest of its kind — has succeeded by operating with military efficiency: Female employees at Apple suppliers are required to wear metal-free bras to pass through security checkpoints.

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