The world of leaking Apple secrets to websites and journalists is a murky one, but things are even more difficult to get your head around when one of those leakers is acting as a double agent for Apple itself. That’s exactly what was happening for more than a year, according to a new report.
Andrey Shumeyko, also known as YRH04E and JVHResearch online, was reportedly leaking information to journalists for more than 12 months while also acting as a double agent for Apple, according to a new Motherboard report.
Shumeyko shared his story with Motherboard because he believes that Apple didn’t treat him as well as it should.
“Me coming forward is mostly me finally realizing that that relationship never took into consideration my side and me as a person,” Shumeyko told Motherboard. Shumeyko shared several pieces of evidence to back up his claims, including texts and an email thread between him and an Apple email address for the company’s Global Security team. Motherboard checked that the emails are legitimate by analyzing their headers, which show Shumeyko received a reply from servers owned by Apple, according to online records.
The story goes that Shumeyko began acting as a mole for Apple’s anti-leak team after iOS 14 leaked months ahead of release. A full build of iOS 14 leaking meant that developers were able to pick it apart, finding features that were months away from being officially announced.
At the time, people in the iPhone hacking community told Motherboard that the leaked iOS build came from a stolen prototype of an iPhone 11 that was purchased from gray-market vendors in China. Sensitive Apple software and hardware occasionally leaks out of China, and there is a thriving gray market of stolen iPhone prototypes that are marketed to security researchers and hackers interested in finding vulnerabilities and developing exploits for Apple’s devices.
Shumeyko then went on to embed himself in the world of jailbreaking and data leaks before giving Apple a list of phone numbers, WeChat IDs, and locations of people who advertised themselves as being able to buy and sell Apple prototype devices.
Why Shumeyko is now telling the world his story isn’t entirely clear, but he seems to feel slighted by the way Apple treated him.
Shumeyko said he was hoping that by helping Apple, the company would help him in return. But that, he said, never happened. And he’s now questioning whether he should have helped in the first place.
However, Shumeyko told Motherboard that he is short of money and that he can be reached on Twitter by anyone wanting to buy Apple data. That, presumably, is the whole point of this story.
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