Wanted: Apple Security Staff Capable of Actually Securing Stuff

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Everyone wants to pilfer a piece of Apple’s unconfirmed future, and to date, more than a few have succeeded, which is why Apple’s reportedly beefing up its security to put the kibosh on corporate raiders, “checkbook journalism” bloggers and more.

Images of bull-necked goons in black Armani suits with ear-jacks and wayfarer shades dancing (or lumbering) through your heads?

(MORE: Oh, Here We Go: Apple Loses New iPhone in a Bar Again?)

But no, the job’s very real, and AP says it appeared just a day after Apple’s most recent iPhone prototype turned up in the news (though the phone’s been missing in action since). The phone was supposedly lost in a bar—a “tequila lounge,” if you will—which led to San Francisco cops getting involved with Apple employees (who, rumor has it, illicitly posed as cops), eventually causing disruptions in the space-time continuum.

Apple’s solution: Why, better security, of course. In this case, better private security. It’s not clear what sort of private security force Apple might (or might not) have been packing, but AP suggests Cupertino is stepping up its game in this department.

“Corporate espionage, that’s big money. Billion-dollar money. The paranoia is justified,” said Jim Stickley, co-founder of security firm TraceSecurity, speaking to AP. “Whatever they’re trying to do, their competitors want to know. Everybody wants to know.”

For the moment anyway. Apple’s like the weird, slightly hip but still somewhat dorky lovechild of Dilbert and Marilyn Monroe. They have cross-geek/fashionista appeal. That, and their products actually let you do the kinds of things people want to do, without much bureaucracy or clutter.

Hiring a private security entourage probably isn’t just about protecting Apple from prototype theft, either. Witness all the foreign products knockoffs (hello, China), or leaks through the “supply chain” promising this or that Apple technology months in advance. While most outlets end up getting the predictions wrong (in some cases simply because Apple changes course mid-stride), a few occasionally get it (or guess it) right.

Don’t expect the rumor train to slow, whatever measures Apple takes. The tech media loves an Apple story (any Apple story, frankly), thus guesstimates about Apple’s inner workings should continue to figure prominently in the daily dose.

The Inquirer’s reaction to this story is worth a sidebar: At one point, they write “Apple’s desperation to keep its unreleased products secret might seem, at times, a little over the top.”

Because the media’s reaction is so demure by comparison.

MORE: Mother of All Knockoffs: Fake Apple Store Spotted in China?

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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