Police in Zhengjiang — a wealthy Chinese province adjacent to Shanghai — has recently cracked down on an underground network which has obtained personal information associated with iPhone accounts and traded them for huge profits.

Twenty-two suspects, who were spread across several Chinese provinces including Guangdong, Jiangsu and Fujian, have been detained for suspicion of obtaining computer information and invading citizen’s personal information, according to a Wednesday Sohu news report.

These suspects have reportedly used Apple’s internal system to obtain user information connected with iPhone accounts — including telephone numbers, names, as well as Apple ID information.

This information has been resold for 10 yuan (US$1.50) to 180 yuan per item and total income in the case has exceeded 50 million yuan, it is alleged.

Among the 22 suspects detained by the police, 20 were from Apple’s domestic direct sales company or Apple’s outsourcing company in China, according to the statement.

The statement didn’t specify the identify of the other two suspects. It also failed to clarify whether these employees were directly employed by Apple or by its suppliers or vendors.

On June 1, China introduced its first ever cybersecurity law which vows to protect online user information by prohibiting abuse from online service providers.

Those who illegally obtain, sell, or provide personal information of over 50 items will be deemed as “severe cases” and subject to imprisonment, according to the new rule in China.



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