Foxconn Hacked as Apple Customers Prepare to Deliver Petitions Calling for ‘Ethical’ iPhone 5

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Hackers claim to have breached the computer systems at Foxconn, the controversial electronics manufacturer headquartered in Taiwan that makes products for companies such as Apple, HP and several other large consumer electronics companies.

The group uploaded a collection of files to the Pirate Bay website that, once downloaded and uncompressed, measured almost 16 megabytes in size and contained around 25 spreadsheets along with a handful of text documents.

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One document titled “Company_Sensitive_information.txt” contains what the group claims are login credentials that “could allow individuals to make fraudulent orders under big companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Intel, and Dell.”

I can confirm that the file contains over 700 usernames and passwords and that Apple, IBM, Dell and Microsoft are on the list. The file also contains a link to a Foxconn website used to place orders and an accompanying master username and password, but the site appears to have been taken down. The group – Swagg Security – acknowledged on Twitter that Foxconn appeared to have taken the site offline, saying, “Guess you guys made one to [sic] many orders.”

The hack comes in the wake of a New York Times article criticizing the working conditions at Foxconn and suggesting that Apple, in particular, had turned a blind eye to cases of worker abuse. Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly sent a memo to company employees after the article was published, saying, “Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.”

Some consumers don’t think that’s enough, however. A group of “concerned Apple customers” has announced that it will be delivering more than 250,000 petition signatures to Apple “demanding the company respond to recent criticisms of worker abuse in their supplier factories and commit to creating an ethical iPhone 5.”

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One such delivery is scheduled to take place at 10:00am at Apple’s new Grand Central Station store in New York. Others signatures will be delivered to Apple locations in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Sydney and Bangalore.

Petitions can be found on the Change.org and SumOfUs.org websites. The full press release can be found on the next page.

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