Foxconn and Apple Learn That Swag Isn't Always Necessarily a Good Thing
posted Sunday Feb 12, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo
We've been covering Apple's relationship with several of their manufacturing companies, including Foxconn, for quite some time already. From the harsh working conditions to workers pledging not to kill themselves anymore, we've been reporting on these issues for over a year. Our good friend Avram Piltch of Laptop Magazine discussed more issues at length on our last episode of F5 Live as the media has just picked up on these issues.
Things have gotten a little worse since we last spoke of Foxconn and after Apple's posting of $46.3 billion in profit; I guess people aren't too happy that they're making so much bank while people are suffering. The cash stack is skyrocketing and the work conditions of the employees are getting to the point where even the nanobot infected iSheeple are starting to turn their heads towards the issue - even though some of them may not be able to copy and paste the story to their friends.
Now, a hacking group has decided to get involved and make the outsourcing giant pay for allowing this to happen to their employees. Apple also needs to be concerned here because what happened directly affects them in more than one way. We have the details after the break.
In an effort to protest these awful working conditions at Foxconn, hacktivist group Swagg Security wrote a message to the world on Pastebin (worth the read), stating that they are not okay with the fact that Apple is turning a blind eye to this and that there is another iPhone on the horizon, despite this breaking news and ongoing investigation into the work environment.
They were able to bypass Foxconn's "appropriate firewall" with ease to access a lot of pertinent data, including usernames, IPs and passwords of big companies.
Note: The passwords inside these files could allow individuals to make fraudulent orders under big companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Intel, and Dell... Be careful.
Although the hack attempt took several days before files began to show up on torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, images surfaced that indicated how easy it was to access each directory of those companies to get the data. Since the attack, Foxconn's servers have been taken offline.
What will Apple and Foxconn do now? Protests continue throughout the world and at several Apple retail stores as people are becoming more aware of what's going on. An investigation is eminent but what will come of it? Will the iPhone 5/iPad 3 sell as well or better than their predecessors? Maybe. I think it will take a lot more than suicides for the effects of the Kool-Aid to wear off, however one thing is certain: something will be done before these actions can continue much longer.
*In the interest of full disclosure, Foxconn is also responsible for several other manufacturing endeavors, working with companies such as Cisco, Lenovo, HP and Sony on top of the ones mentioned in this article.
Further reading: The New York Times documentary and other news stories on the working conditions and explosion that killed many employees at Foxconn.