Apple was allegedly scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by college students who operated a cross-border iPhone resale scheme, US prosecutors say.
As first reported by The Oregonian, two men visiting the United States on student visas, Yangyang Zhou and Quan Jiang, were major players in the scam.
The men have been accused of importing over thousands of fake iPhones from China into the US, sending these devices to the tech giant with complaints that the devices refused to work, and then receiving new, untarnished iPhones through Apple’s warranty system.
Once these genuine iPhones were in their hands, Zhou and Jiang would then ship these mobile devices abroad for a cut of the profit.
The scam began in April 2017 and shipments of 20 to 30 iPhones were received at a time. The knockoff iPhones would then be submitted individually — either in person or online — to Apple’s warranty program.
In total, Jiang was connected to 3,069 iPhone warranty claims. Not every claim proved successful as counterfeit goods if detected by Apple staff would be rejected, but just under 1,500 devices were still replaced — likely due to staff inability to recognize a fake device as there was no power — and sent to an “associate” in China.
CNET: I fell in love with Apple AirPods, then they fell down the drain
Proceeds from the scam were sent to Jiang’s mother via wire transfer.
“Jiang explained that in exchange for his labor and efforts, his associate in China pays Jiang’s mother, who also resides in China, who in tum deposits the proceeds into a back account that Jiang is able to access here in the United States,” the prosecutor’s complaint reads. “Jiang estimated that during 2017, he submitted 2,000 telephones to Apple for warranty repairs.”
Customs officers began to have suspicions over shipments emblazoned with Apple logos, and by December 2017 had identified Jiang as one of the alleged smugglers.
Apple eventually sent cease-and-desist notices to Jiang when the scheme was exposed, but these were ignored.
US prosecutors estimate that the iPad and iPhone maker was scammed out of roughly $895,800. Considering modern iPhone prices range from $449 to $999+, this amount would certainly be reachable in a short time.
Both men were engineering students. Zhou studied at Oregon State University, while Jiang studied at Linn Benton Community College. Zhou and Jiang claim they did not realize the iPhones they were handling were counterfeit.
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Zhou has been accused of submitting false export declarations. US prosecutors have accused Jiang of counterfeit good trafficking and wire fraud.
Given the huge businesses that today’s tech giants operate, it is unsurprising that companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are constantly targeted by fraudsters.
See also: Apple hires top AI expert Ian Goodfellow from Google
This week, it was revealed that a man from Lithuania managed to scam Facebook and Google out of $123 million through a business email compromise (BEC) campaign. The man posed as a vendor requesting payment and the companies dutifully paid the fake sums they apparently owed. In a rare twist, however, both Facebook and Google say they have been able to recover the stolen funds.
Previous and related coverage
Managing Vulnerabilities in a Cloud Native World
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Security Tools Help Bring Dev and Security Teams Together
Software development teams are increasingly focused on identifying and mitigating any issues as quickly and completely as possible. This relates not only to software quality but also software security. Different organizations are at different levels when it comes to having their development teams and security teams working in concert, but the simple fact remains that there are far more developers out there than security engineers.
Those factors are leading organizations to consider security tooling and automation to proactively discover and resolve any software security issues throughout the development process. In the recent report, “GigaOm Radar for Developer Security Tools,” Shea Stewart examines a roundup of security tools aimed at software development teams.
Stewart identified three critical criteria to bear in mind when evaluating developer security tools. These include:
- Vendors providing tools to improve application security can and should also enhance an organization’s overall security posture.
- The prevailing “shift-left” mindset doesn’t necessarily mean the responsibility for reducing risk should shift to development, but instead focusing on security earlier in the process and continuing to do so throughout the development process will reduce risk and the need for extensive rework.
- Security throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) is critical for any organization focused on reducing risk.
Figure 1. How Cybersecurity Applies Across Each Stage of the Software Development Lifecycle *Note: This report focuses only on the Developer Security Tooling area
Individual vendors have made varying levels of progress and innovation toward enhancing developer security. Following several acquisitions, Red Hat, Palo Alto Networks, and Rapid7 have all added tooling for developer security to their platforms. Stewart sees a couple of the smaller vendors like JFrog and Sonatype as continuing to innovate to remain ahead of the market.
Vendors delving into this category and moving deeper into “DevSecOps” all seem to be taking different approaches to their enhanced security tooling. While they are involving security in every aspect of the development process, some tend to be moving more quickly to match the pace of the SDLC. Others are trying to shore up existing platforms by adding functionality through acquisition. Both infrastructure and software developers are now sharing toolsets and processes, so these development security tools must account for the requirements of both groups.
While none of the 12 vendors evaluated in this report can provide comprehensive security throughout the entire SDLC, they all have their particular strengths and areas of focus. It is therefore incumbent upon the organization to fully and accurately assess its SDLC, involve the development and security teams, and match the unique requirements with the functionality provided by these tools. Even if it involves using more than one at different points throughout the process, focus on striking a balance between stringent security and simplifying the development process.
Read more: Key Criteria for Evaluating Developer Security Tools, and the Gigaom Radar for Developer Security Tool Companies.
The post Security Tools Help Bring Dev and Security Teams Together appeared first on Gigaom.
Key Criteria for Evaluating User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)
Cybersecurity is a multidisciplinary practice that not only grows in complexity annually but evolves nearly as quickly. A survey of the security landscape today would reveal concerns ranging from the classic compromised servers to the relatively new DevSecOps practices aimed at securing the rapid deployment of new code and infrastructure. However, some things remain constant no matter how much change is introduced. While technology evolves and complexity varies, there is almost always a human component in
risks presented to an organization.
User Behavior Analysis (UBA) was designed to analyze the actions of users in an organization and attempt to identify normal and abnormal behaviors. From this analysis, malicious or risky behaviors can be detected. UBA solutions identify events that are not detectable using other methods because, unlike classic security tools (an IDS or SIEM for example), UBA does not simply pattern match or apply rule sets to data to identify security events. Instead, it looks for any and all deviations from baseline user activity.
As technology advanced and evolved, and the scope of what is connected to the network grew, the need to analyze entities other than users emerged. In response, entity analysis has been added to UBA to create UEBA or User and Entity Behavior Analysis. The strategy remains the same, but the scope of analysis has expanded to include entities involving things like daemons, processes, infrastructure, and so on.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.
The post Key Criteria for Evaluating User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) appeared first on Gigaom.
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