Hackers score the CEO's password and more

Those mischievous rapscallion hackers have been up to their usual fare, targeting a Chinese supplier infamous both for its deep relationship with Apple and its long history of alleged worker abuses.  

I. Foxconn Ha-ha-hacked...

The rooting rogues had their way with Foxconn, a subsidiary of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd. (TPE:2317).  The massive intrusion into Foxconn and Hon Hai's servers was allegedly kicked off when an employee used an unpatched legacy version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser and fell victim to one of many common exploits.

The exploit on the Chinese manufacturer is somewhat ironic, given that Chinese hackers allegedly used a similar exploit to steal source code from search giant Google Inc. (GOOG).

Before long the group of hackers, who call themselves "Swagg Security" were dumping server logs, files, and passwords en masse.  Even the company's billionaire CEO, Terry Gou, had his password exposed:
Foxconn CEO's pasword
[Image Source: Foxconn via Swagg Sec via the Pirate Bay]

Terry Gou
While his employees are reportedly enduring hellish working conditions, billionaire Foxconn chief is enjoying a dream life.  He recently married his much younger dance teacher (left).
[Image Source: Taiwan News/Forbes]

A 6 MB treasure trove of information is currently available on The Pirate Bay, and includes Apple payment records:

Foxconn Apple payments
[Image Source: Foxconn via Swagg Sec via the Pirate Bay]

More information may be forthcoming.

Swagg Sec. brings to mind recent groups like the defunct LulzSec and GoatseSec.  In their press release the hackers describe themselves as "The Hackers with Swagger".

The group clearly intended their hack as a "hacktivist" statement, writing:

So Foxconn thinks they got ‘em some swagger because they work with the Big Boys from Intel, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple? Fool, You don’t know what swagger is. They say you got your employees all worked up, committing suicide ‘n stuff. They say you hire chinese workers ’cause you think the taiwanese are elite. We got somethin’ served up good…real good. Your not gonna’ know what hit you by the time you finish this release. Your company gonna’ crumble, and you deserve it.

II. Apple Accusation Put the Spotlight on Foxconn

Foxconn produces electronics for almost every major electronics company from Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).  But as the comment alludes to, its alleged worker abuses were most noticed at its massive Shenzhen city-factory, which primarily produces for Apple.  Apple's demand for unapologetic demand for high volumes at any cost have made the Apple-centric plant reportedly the company's most "hellish" factory, with employees being forced to work grueling hours.  

At least one employee was reportedly worked to death, though Foxconn contends he died of "natural" causes and refused to pay his family benefits.  Foxconn has been forced to pay benefits to the families of a number of employees from the plant who have committed suicide over the last year [1][2][3][4] [5][6][7][8].

Foxconn Workers
[Image Source: Telegraph UK]

Apple is accused of turning a blind eye to the employee abuses, despite being aware of them.  Apple ardently disputes these claims, but that hasn't stopped activists from protesting outside Apple stores in the U.S. and abroad.

Late Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs seemed troubled by the suicides in a 2010 interview, but he insisted that they happen everywhere, saying the same thing happened in his affluent Palo Alto suburb.  Apple praised Foxconn in a 2011 report for "improving" in the wake of the suicides.

Foxconn at one point tried to make employees sign a "legally binding" letter promising not to kill themselves.  That letter was subsequently retracted.  The company also has been working hard to replace its employees with suicide-proof robots.

This is not the first time the company's web properties have been targeted by hacktivists, although previous attempts were limited to defacement.

Sources: Twitter [Swagg Sec], The Pirate Bay

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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