Chinese authorities have arrested 22 people for selling $7.36 million worth of iPhone users' data from Apple's internal servers, a media report said on Friday. According to Xinhua news agency, the Zhejiang police arrested 22 employees from Apple's suppliers and vendors as part of the underground data trading network. The 20 workers, who were employed by Apple suppliers, not the company itself, reportedly had access to data, including names, phone numbers, Apple IDs and other information, which they sold for between 10 and 180 yuan (about $2 to $27). In total, the data thieves made about 50 million yuan ($7.36 million).
The Chinese police first started investigating Apple data sales on the black market in January and began making their arrests on 3 May. The arrests stretched from across the Guangdong, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces, the report said. The alleged thieves created random identifiers for Siri data and switched iMessages to end-to-end encryption.
Earlier this year, a group calling itself the "Turkish Crime Family" tried to hold Apple to ransom, claiming it had access to hundreds of millions of Apple accounts, and the ability to wipe iPhones and iPads. While the hackers said they were paid, Apple insisted that its servers hadn't been breached, and the account information was "obtained from previously compromised third-party services."