Apple Warns Employees Against Leaking in Leaked Memo

Apple Warns Employees Against Leaking in Leaked Memo

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Apple has posted a memo to its internal blog warning employees to stop leaking information about its future plans, reports Bloomberg. The memo leaked in full today.

In the post, Apple tries to discourage leaks by threatening to fire, fine, and prosecute. The company says it caught 29 leakers last year, noting that 12 of those were arrested.

Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes

The memo touts several examples of how Apple has used Global Security’s digital forensics to catch leakers. Despite this and Tim Cook's promise to "double down on secrecy on products" we've seen more leaks than ever out of Apple. Over the past few years, details about nearly every product and feature have leaked out ahead of their release.

Here's the full memo shared by Bloomberg:

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Last month, Apple caught and fired the employee responsible for leaking details from an internal, confidential meeting about Apple’s software roadmap. Hundreds of software engineers were in attendance, and thousands more within the organization received details of its proceedings. One person betrayed their trust.

The employee who leaked the meeting to a reporter later told Apple investigators that he did it because he thought he wouldn’t be discovered. But people who leak -- whether they’re Apple employees, contractors or suppliers -- do get caught and they’re getting caught faster than ever.

In many cases, leakers don’t set out to leak. Instead, people who work for Apple are often targeted by press, analysts and bloggers who befriend them on professional and social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and begin to pry for information. While it may seem flattering to be approached, it’s important to remember that you’re getting played. The success of these outsiders is measured by obtaining Apple’s secrets from you and making them public. A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. But the Apple employee who leaks has everything to lose.

The impact of a leak goes far beyond the people who work on a project.

Leaking Apple’s work undermines everyone at Apple and the years they’ve invested in creating Apple products. “Thousands of people work tirelessly for months to deliver each major software release,” says UIKit lead Josh Shaffer, whose team’s work was part of the iOS 11 leak last fall. “Seeing it leak is devastating for all of us.”

The impact of a leak goes beyond the people who work on a particular project — it’s felt throughout the company. Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model; give rival companies more time to begin on a competitive response; and lead to fewer sales of that new product when it arrives. “We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else,” says Greg Joswiak of Product Marketing.

Investments by Apple have had an enormous impact on the company’s ability to identify and catch leakers. Just before last September’s special event, an employee leaked a link to the gold master of iOS 11 to the press, again believing he wouldn’t be caught. The unreleased OS detailed soon-to-be-announced software and hardware including iPhone X. Within days, the leaker was identified through an internal investigation and fired. Global Security’s digital forensics also helped catch several employees who were feeding confidential details about new products including iPhone X, iPad Pro and AirPods to a blogger at 9to5Mac.

Leakers in the supply chain are getting caught, too. Global Security has worked hand-in-hand with suppliers to prevent theft of Apple’s intellectual property as well as to identify individuals who try to exceed their access. They’ve also partnered with suppliers to identify vulnerabilities — both physical and technological — and ensure their security levels meet or exceed Apple’s expectations. These programs have nearly eliminated the theft of prototypes and products from factories, caught leakers and prevented many others from leaking in the first place.

Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes. In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. 12 of those were arrested. Among those were Apple employees, contractors and some partners in Apple’s supply chain. These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere. “The potential criminal consequences of leaking are real,” says Tom Moyer of Global Security, “and that can become part of your personal and professional identity forever.”

While they carry serious consequences, leaks are completely avoidable. They are the result of a decision by someone who may not have considered the impact of their actions. “Everyone comes to Apple to do the best work of their lives — work that matters and contributes to what all 135,000 people in this company are doing together,” says Joswiak. “The best way to honor those contributions is by not leaking.”
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Apple Warns Employees Against Leaking in Leaked Memo

01pepelepew - April 14, 2018 at 10:05pm
So its OK for apple to slow down phones on purpose, so consumers would have to purchase new ones.................. Scammers can be traced back to the beginning of civilization Unfortunate the peasants will always pay the prize.........................................
Buzz Lightyear - April 14, 2018 at 10:51pm
I am in complete agreement with Apple slowing down phones without telling you. I do wish they came out and told us that they were going to do it and that we would have the option to turn it on and off after the announcement and update. They did go about it wrong but I fully agree that they should slow phones down with an aging battery. I know a little something about lithium ion batteries and your battery, like any other, will decrease in capacity the more you use it and push recharge cycles through. Software does not give a damn about your battery. It will suck as much juice as it needs from it to keep it operating. Apple made a decision to slow down the software so it's not as demanding on the battery. Your device won't drop calls by your phone rebooting (overheating will reboot your phone which is normal for everyone) or so you can film more of that awesome concert you're at (that one's sarcasm) and so on. Apple actually did you a favor by slowing down the phones and you should be thanking them for keeping your device up-n-running and random reboot free. We all have the ability to think for ourselves and you do not have to agree with me - but do give it thought because you really should be thinking for yourselves instead of believing everything you see, read and are told.
4 leaf clover - April 14, 2018 at 4:25pm
Good go get them . Its questionable if they increase shorting on stocks. With the leaks
D4xM4Nx - April 14, 2018 at 12:34pm
Happens with all corporations threatening their asses for stupidly leaking shit, losing a well paid job in the process... F*ck them Apple! Make sure they're listening to that Cardio-whatever tranny while in jail for extra punishment.
Stealther - April 14, 2018 at 4:41am
It’s impossible to prevent leaks. So Apple, stop trying
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