It’s no secret that a culture of secrecy exists at Apple, but even so, Apple leaks are quite frequent. Tim Cook pledged that the company would double down on security in 2012, and a new report reveals that Apple is already getting results. Ironically, however, the revelations come from an internal briefing at Apple that took place earlier this month. That briefing was probably supposed to be kept secret, but it leaked out anyway.
It’s an hour-long presentation in which Apple’s Global Security team members explain how they work around the world to prevent leaks coming from Apple’s campus as well as from the company’s its extensive supply chain.
The people enforcing secrecy and investigating leaks come from intelligence backgrounds, which sounds like the kind of education you need to catch leakers. David Rice, head of Apple’s Global Security for more than six years now, worked at the NSA as a Global Network Vulnerability Analyst for four years. Before that, he was a Special Duty Cryptologist in the U.S. Navy.
Other members of the team come from the FBI, the US Secret Service, and the US military. These are the anti-leak employees who work around the clock to prevent unreleased Apple devices from making the news. Apple even embeds security officers with teams that need to maintain secrecy, and has internal procedures in place to deal with leaks that may occur between employees working on secret programs and employees who don’t have clearance.
The report reveals that the security team was able to address some of its supply chain leak problems, and that it discovered leakers on its own campus.
What the briefing doesn’t appear to address is controlled leaks. After all, the Apple leaks keep on coming in spite of the Global Security team’s work. That either means they’ve yet to catch all the leakers, or some of these leaks are orchestrated by Apple’s PR team.
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