Man gets hard drive with secret Apple Store data by mistake

Apple has not had a good week in terms of keeping its secrets. Earlier this week, one of the company's employees managed to lose an iPhone 5 prototype in a California bar. Today there's a report that a man has gained accidental access to sensitive Apple Store information. The reason? He got a replacement hard drive from his local Apple Store that was filled with confidential documents and video.

As Cult of Mac reports, the unnamed individual brought his faulty Mac to the Stamford, Connecticut Apple Store to be fixed. A couple of days later he returned to the store to pick up his Mac and was handed a hard drive by one of its employees. The man thought at first it was his original Mac drive, however, when he took the drive home and connected it to a USB enclosure to see if any of his files could be retrieved he discovered that the hard drive wasn't his after all. Instead, it was filled with top secret Apple Store information from late 2009 to May 2011. The informant said that some of the files placed on the drive included internal manuals, products layout and videos of Apple corporate activities and store meetings.

Cult of Mac also says that the unnamed tipster offered to sell the hard drive to the site with all of the Apple Store's confidential files. In a wise move, the site refused that offer and even recommended that the tipster return the hard drive to Apple. So far the unnamed informant has yet to respond.

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43 Comments

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Didn't an employee lose an iPhone 4 prototype too?? I mean, why ppl lose important things like that???
And this guy is really stupid. Just return the damn hard drive to the store. Maybe he didn't realize that someone can lose the job for his greed.

It's pretty hard to think that an employee would just give out something like this to a customer unintentionally and without even saying a word about it. I guess Steve leaving apple has made an huge impact on the employees.

thnok said,
It's pretty hard to think that an employee would just give out something like this to a customer unintentionally and without even saying a word about it.
Why is it hard to believe? Apple employees are human. They make mistakes too. The employee probably didn't think twice about it. He must've thought the guy brought it in with his laptop so he was just returning it.

"Secret" data from an Apple retail store?

I highly doubt Apple or any business with common sense would put strictly confidential data in the hands of retail staff.

This article smells of sensationalism!

Freakin' Apple. Too sad that people are focusing less and less on them now? I guess that's why they're resorting to pulling stupid BS tactics like this. Come on, it's so blantant how this was not an accident. They are so freakin' narcissistic sometimes, with their inability to allow not ONE other company to get any attention without resorting to stupid tactics like this. I really can't wait for them to go away-they're truly the ultimate trolls.

PlogCF said,
Freakin' Apple. Too sad that people are focusing less and less on them now? I guess that's why they're resorting to pulling stupid BS tactics like this. Come on, it's so blantant how this was not an accident. They are so freakin' narcissistic sometimes, with their inability to allow not ONE other company to get any attention without resorting to stupid tactics like this. I really can't wait for them to go away-they're truly the ultimate trolls.

nope I think you hold that title.

Jesus mistakes do happen without you all jumping to some ulterior motive just cause its apple, leave the juvenile hate at the door

AFineFrenzy said,
Oh no. What Apple do now the world potentially knows of its staff training regimes?!

I could have sworn I saw a file called Steve's Management Users Guide (SMUG). It teaches Apple employees how to be useless.

AFineFrenzy said,
Oh no. What Apple do now the world potentially knows of its staff training regimes?!
What surprises me is that this alleged drive with "top secret data" was carelessly left out in the open by the store manager. If it has all of this "secret data" then why are you leaving it on the technician's bench or counter or wherever. Shouldn't it be in the manager's office or safe or briefcase or in the lock box with the armed guards picking it up to take to the bank vault via armored truck with black helicopters sporting snipers flying above while "Apple ninja's" are hiding in the potted plants?! Nope, it's just sitting out so anybody can pick it up.

So Apple knows who owns the laptop, probably where he lives and can narrow down who the customer was that they replaced a laptops harddrive in. I don't think it'll be very hard for Apple to find this guy and have him assassinated. I mean obtain the drive from him.

Edrick Smith said,
So Apple knows who owns the laptop, probably where he lives and can narrow down who the customer was that they replaced a laptops harddrive in. I don't think it'll be very hard for Apple to find this guy and have him assassinated. I mean obtain the drive from him.

LOL.. honest mistake

Edrick Smith said,
]I don't think it'll be very hard for Apple to find this guy and have him assassinated. I mean obtain the drive from him.

haha this made me laugh

Who says this is a mistake? Whos' to say the Apple employee wasn't actually selling the drive to a rival and got the people and code wrong... "The moon glows well in the lake water", You have my HD btw? lol

Xoligy said,
Who says this is a mistake? Whos' to say the Apple employee wasn't actually selling the drive to a rival and got the people and code wrong... "The moon glows well in the lake water", You have my HD btw? lol

ROFL!

Ruran said,
An employee lost an iPhone 5 at a bar, am I mistaken or did the same thing happen with the iPhone 4?

No you are not mistaken.

Ruran said,
An employee lost an iPhone 5 at a bar, am I mistaken or did the same thing happen with the iPhone 4?

Yeah. At this point I'm embarrassed for them...

Ruran said,
An employee lost an iPhone 5 at a bar, am I mistaken or did the same thing happen with the iPhone 4?

You'd think they'd learn by now... Unless it wasn't unintentional...

Ruran said,
An employee lost an iPhone 5 at a bar, am I mistaken or did the same thing happen with the iPhone 4?
Yeah at first I thought I was going crazy too.

timster said,
the chinese would have loved having access to that hard drive

The Chinese probably already have all of Apple's data since they've been hacking everyone...

M_Lyons10 said,

The Chinese probably already have all of Apple's data since they've been hacking everyone...


The Chinese probably already have all of Apple's data since they make all of Apple's hardware anyway. =/

xpxp2002 said,

The Chinese probably already have all of Apple's data since they make all of Apple's hardware anyway. =/

I thought that was Japan that made theit hardware...

In a wise move, the site refused that offer and even recommended that the tipster return the hard drive to Apple.

Fanboys reaching the top level.

Anthonyd said,

Fanboys reaching the top level.

eh? you don't think the correct and legal thing to do is return it? If you start selling it off I'm sure your going to be landing yourself in a whole lot of legal trouble.

Its not going to be hard to track him down, lets just hope he's sensible

evo_spook said,

eh? you don't think the correct and legal thing to do is return it?

How's that?.

He is not a burglar, neither he is blackmailing Apple. Instead, he is selling his own property.

evo_spook said,

eh? you don't think the correct and legal thing to do is return it? If you start selling it off I'm sure your going to be landing yourself in a whole lot of legal trouble.

Its not going to be hard to track him down, lets just hope he's sensible

They willingly gave it to him, he did not steal it. At least according to the article anyways.

war said,
They willingly gave it to him, he did not steal it. At least according to the article anyways.

I find a wallet on the floor, it doesn't make it legally mine

evo_spook said,

I find a wallet on the floor, it doesn't make it legally mine

if someone gave you their wallet, it would be....