China’s iCloud Hack: A Beijing Ploy?

Published on Author greenwoodp14

The highly anticipated iPhone 6 arrived in China last week, one month after its release in the U.S. and Hong Kong. However, coinciding with the Chinese iPhone release was an iCloud attack where hackers acquired Apple’s Chinese clients “usernames and passwords and consequently all data stored on iCloud such as iMessages, photos, contacts, etc” (BBC News). Yesterday, Apple confirmed the attack but refrained from stating who was behind the attacks.


Despite Apple’s refusal to publicly comment on the who is behind the attacks, multiple internet security groups as well as the Chinese censorship watchdog have stated that the cyber attack was orchestrated by China’s own government. Although Beijing has denied these allegations, this resembles similar attacks China has staged on technology giants “GitHub, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in an apparent effort to censor those services” (Time Magazine).

Based on the fact that China has previously conducted similar cyber attacks on other technology firms as well as the fact they were accused earlier this month of putting spyware on Hong Kong protesters iPhones and iPads, I believe the Chinese government coordinated these attacks. It leads me to wonder whether Beijing simply does not care how the world views them or whether they just feel that they can deny these allegations and let the uproar pass.


Time, Reuters and BBC.

2 Responses to China’s iCloud Hack: A Beijing Ploy?

  1. China is hardly alone in wanting to limit the encryption of texts and phone conversations. Opposition to the iPhone wasn’t necessary as long as it could be hacked. If the iCloud can be broken into, great! – let Chinese political activists think they are safe. Now, if the Chinese can do it, how about the NSA?

  2. The development of “cyber warfare” between countries is an interesting product of increasing technology use and global trade. Government supported hacking of major corporations such as those listed in your piece is a very aggressive strategy. I wonder if these attacks are simply to gain more information or if they could also be an attempt to promote the Chinese tech industry by painting foreign corporations as unsafe and unreliable.