Tim Cook (One More Thing 001)

Apple’s boss Tim Cook went to China to meet with a top Chinese government official in Beijing amid allegations of government-backed phishing attempts on users’ iCloud accounts, according to a report by the state-run Xinhua news agency, relayed by Reuters Wednesday.

The meeting coincides with reports by GreatFire.org, a Chinese web monitoring group, alleging that the Chinese government sponsored man-in-the-middle attacks that redirected local users to a fake iCloud.com login page in an effort to harvest Apple ID user names and passwords.

Cook and Vice Premier Ma Kai reportedly exchanged views on “protection of users’ information” as well as ”strengthening cooperation and in information and communication fields,” Xinhua reported.

Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told the media yesterday that the government was “resolutely opposed” to hacking. It’s worth remembering that the government operates a nationwide firewall allowing it to arbitrarily block traffic to and from certain websites, thereby limiting what the Chinese users can do online.

Greatfire is said to have told Reuters that Apple appeared to have rerouted user data on Tuesday in order to circumvent the hack.

Responding to the attacks, Apple issued a support document yesterday outlining browser security. Users in China predominantly use the popular Chinese browser Qihoo, which lacks anti-phishing measures and does not warn users that they’re visiting a spoofed page.

The firm underscored that the attempted attacks did not affect iCloud sign-in on mobile and Macs that are running the most up to date version of OS X.

“We’re aware of intermittent organized network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously,” reads the support document.


  • Andy

    What the Chinese government says (“resolutely opposed” to hacking) and what they actually do are completely different. Even Chinese people (especially those residing overseas) don’t trust them.

    • Jeffrey

      China and Russia are the biggest scumbag hackers in the world. They both act like they are oh so innocent while they are repeatedly getting caught in the act. They are one of the biggest threats to modern society (not just speaking about hacking of course).

      • Tommy

        Meanwhile the U.S. on the other hand is the only one that doesn’t hack shit.

      • BoardDWorld

        Quite different, hacking and acquiring secured company designs, prototypes etc for gain vs ongoing high level surveillance that hasn’t ended since World War 2.

      • Andy

        There’s nothing different, the US does the same thing as China, Russia and probably several other countries. Of course they’re not going to admit what they’re doing for the sake of “national security” or whatever excuse they can come up with.

      • BoardDWorld

        Hmmm… the Chinese government is conducting a phishing scam on it’s own people, replica items come shipping out China the same time the original in foreign countries ship. I can’t compare the countries myself.

      • Jeffrey

        Well the reasons for the hacks are different. ‘Murica is doing it for safety and keeping peace. Russia and China are doing it for money, curiosity and other evil reasons.

      • Tyler Smith

        pretty sure he was being sarcastic (meaning tommy)

      • Jeffrey

        They do but it’s for another reason. as I said to Andy: ‘Murica is doing it for safety and keeping peace. Russia and China are doing it for money, curiosity and other evil reasons.

  • Zille Hasnain

    Apple should also analyze in-depth for their security measures and should protect the privacy of their users

    • arsenal6

      2-step authentication is mandatory…and the breach was on 3rd party browsers developed in china prob by the government