It became known how Apple catches spies and insiders in the company. There are very tricky “traps”

The day before yesterday, insider @analyst941 deleted his Twitter account, claiming he was forced to do so because of Apple.

The company figured out his sister, who leaked information, and then fired her after another insider tweet. Against the backdrop of this story, 9to5Mac decided to tell how Apple is struggling with information leaks.

The company has a lot of means to ensure the safety of sensitive data.

Apple culture of secrecy

In most tech companies, secrecy is a way to stand up to the competition. If they know or suspect that other companies are working on the same idea as them, such organizations tend to be the first to market. Accordingly, no one wants anyone else to know about their plans or how close they are to launch.

However, with Apple, the situation is different. A company rarely strives to be first in the market. Instead, she watches and waits for others to announce their devices and then figures out how to improve their products. Apple strives to be the best, not the first.

However, in Cupertino they still strive to protect their secrets. It has to do with Steve Jobs’ thinking that sudden announcements are magic. It is this desire for the magic of surprise that is the main driver of Apple’s culture of secrecy.

How Apple Protects Its Secrets

The company uses a large number of methods to protect against leaks.

For example, Apple has a disparate product development system. The bottom line is that individuals or small teams work in isolation on one element of the product, while other teams, whose existence is not even known to each other, work on other elements.

Developers and engineers are not allowed to share their work, even with other Apple employees. In some cases, employees don’t even know what product category they’re working on. For example, they may develop audio technology without even knowing whether it will be used in HomePods, Macs, AirPods, or iPhones.

Prototypes are very carefully disguised if they are to be used in public places. They are being watched very closely. This is a lesson Apple learned the hard way after the infamous iPhone 4 prototype was left in a bar.

Apple tracks both network activity and the use of personal items such as USB keys.

The company also warns employees that information leakage is a criminal offense and that the company may even demand financial damages from them.

However, some employees leak information, and even with a fragmented system, some Apple secrets will be known to a significant number of people. However, the Cupertinites have special methods for calculating “drainers”.

How Apple calculates “rats”

Given Apple’s emphasis on product design, it’s no surprise that the company works especially hard to prevent leaks of visual materials: product images, blueprints, CAD images, and the like.

Here are just a few of the methods Apple uses to deal with leaks.

invisible watermarks

Everyone is familiar with the usual watermarks – they are applied to the visible part of the image to display authorship. But there are so-called invisible watermarks.

For example, this square appears black:

In fact, one part of it is #0D0D0D instead #000000. By making such subtle changes to different pixels, you can create an almost infinite number of variations that can’t be seen visually.

We used black as an example, but the same can of course be done with literally any color in the image.
This is why we never share real images provided by our sources. We always recreate them, and they will never be an exact copy of the original.

file names

Another reason to never use original images is that Apple uses unique filenames, like so:

🔺 very_secret_image_46793459583203.jpg
🔺 very_secret_image_46793469583203.jpg

serial numbers

Document serial numbers are another way to calculate insiders. For example, when Apple shares videos with employees, each video is watermarked with an ID number, which likely refers to the employee’s Apple Connect ID.

subtle font changes

For example, in a serif font, a particular version of text can be created with one pixel missing from one stroke of one instance of one letter. Font sizes can also be increased or decreased by just one pixel.

explicit font changes

Sometimes Apple takes the opposite approach and opts for very obvious changes. If she wants employees to know their copy is being tracked, the company uses random italics or bold fonts.

For example:

This year iPhone 15 will be launched on Tueornik 29 august vmEUthe usual septemberwhom time.

changes in wording and punctuation

In some cases, Apple makes small changes to their texts. Often they send ready-made text, so it will not be difficult to calculate the source.

For example, what the original text might look like:

This year, the iPhone 15 will launch on Tuesday August 29 instead of the usual September timing.

Or like this:

This year, the iPhone 15 will be launched on Tuesday August 29 instead of the usual September timing.

Or like this:

This year, the iPhone 15 will launch on Tuesday August 29, instead of the usual September timing.

In all cases, the wording or punctuation is slightly different, which can be easily missed when forwarding to other people.

fake information

Another way to deal with “leakers” is banal stuffing of information. Obviously, this should be an element that the respective employee is not working on.

For example, for non-radio personnel, imagine how easy it would be to change one number in this table (they wouldn’t even notice the catch):

Or vice versa. For someone who works with radio bands, throw in the text where f / 1.76 is indicated instead of f / 1.78:

There are plenty of options. You can “merge” a bunch of information to unsophisticated employees, including model numbers, colors, fake presentation dates, and much more.

Did @analyst941 really have any information

We can’t know for sure right now. Closer to the point, let’s check which of his statements turned out to be true. [9to5]

Source: — Новости высоких технологий, обзоры смартфонов, презентации Apple by

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