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

  • Share
  • Read Later
Forbes Conrad / Getty Images

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.

(MORE: Chinese Factory Under Scrutiny As Suicides Mount)

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.”

(MORE: Will the World Ever See Fair Trade iPads?)

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 and websites. The full press release can be found on the next page.


Apple users will deliver a quarter million petition signatures to Apple in global headquarters including Washington, DC, NYC, San Francisco, London, Sydney, and Bangalore

Petition campaign demands that Apple make iPhone 5 “ethical”

New York, NY – Concerned Apple customers will deliver more than a quarter million signatures from campaigns on  and to Apple’s Grand Central Station, NYC location demanding the company respond to recent criticisms of worker abuse in their supplier factories and commit to creating an ethical iPhone 5.

When: Thursday, February 9, 10:00am ET

Where: Apple Store, Grand Central Station, 89 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10017

What: Local consumers will deliver more than 250,000 petition signatures to Apple, asking the company to develop a worker protection strategy in response to reported abuse in Chinese supplier factories.

Visuals: large iPhone posters, large amounts of printed handouts for delivery

Mark Shields, an Apple user from Washington, DC, launched his campaign on after learning about poor working conditions in the Chinese factories where many popular Apple products are manufactured, including the iPhone. His campaign has been featured in the Boston Globe, CNN International, Guardian, BBC, and other national publications.

“I have been a lifelong Apple customer and was shocked to learn of the abusive working conditions in many of Apple’s supplier factories,” said Mark Shields, who launched the campaign on  “At Foxconn, one of Apple’s biggest manufacturers, there is a history of suicides, abusive working conditions, and almost no pay. These working conditions are appalling, especially for Apple.”

More than 55,000 SumOfUs members have signed that organization’s petition already, making it the most viral petition since SumOfUs, a new global grassroots community of consumers fighting for corporate accountability, launched just over two months ago. More than 35,000 of the petition signers say they buy Apple products, including over 20,000 iPhone users.

“I use an iPhone myself,” said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director of SumOfUs. “I love it, but I don’t love having to support sweatshops, and neither do millions of other Apple consumers.The hip, educated market that Apple aspires to corner is largely composed of responsible consumers who don’t want to be complicit in sweatshop labor.”

“Apple’s attention to detail is famous, and the only way they could fail to be aware of dozens of worker deaths, of child labor, of exposure to neurotoxins is through willful ignorance,” she added. “That’s why our members are asking Apple to clean up its supply chains in time to make the iPhone 5 its first ethically produced product.”

The petition delivery is being coordinated globally by concerned consumers. Petition deliveries will take place in Washington, DC, New York, San Fransisco, London, Sydney, and Bangalore, all asking Apple to improve its commitment to worker protection.

Live signature totals from Mark’s campaign:

Live signature totals from SumOfUs’s ethical iPhone campaign:

  1. Previous
  2. 1
  3. 2