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From the outside, Apple’s jailbreak community appeared to be a tight-knit group of hackers embroiled in a cat and mouse game with Apple. Though they may have worked together to jailbreak Apple’s devices, not all of them were dedicated to the cause of freeing devices from Apple’s tight control.
According to a recent Motherboard report, one well-known jailbreaker and leakster allegedly was an informant for Apple.
Andrey Shumeyko, also known as JVHResearch and YRH04E, was a source of leaked internal documents, stolen devices, and more for the jailbreak community and the media.
While feeding information to the jailbreak and leaking community, Shumeyko shared details on these communities with Apple. According to Motherboard, other jailbreakers and leakers had no idea that Shumeyko was a mole.
Since 2017, Shumeyko allegedly provided Apple’s Global Security Team with the names and personal information about people purchasing stolen prototype devices and obtaining leaked software.
He also uncovered and eventually betrayed those Apple employees who were the source of this leaked information.
Shumeyko not only identified leakers and their sources within Apple, but he also fingered journalists who were working in the jailbreaking and leaking community.
Shumeyko wasn’t a small fish either. He was a significant player in the leaking and jailbreaking community. He provided information to Apple about those involved in last year’s big iOS 14 and iPhone 12 leak, including those who bought and sold the prototype iPhone 12, the security researchers who tore apart iOS 14, and the Chinese middlemen who were trading in this stolen property.
Shumeyko came forward with this information to get back at Apple because he feels Apple took advantage of him. The company gladly accepted his information but allegedly did not compensate him appropriately.
Shumeyko claims he helped identify an Apple employee who sold access to an internal Apple account but was not compensated after providing this critical security information to Apple. “Now it feels like I ruined someone for no good reason, really,” Shumeyko said in his interview with Motherboard.
Apple is mum about its efforts to curb leaked information, which is the primary task of the Global Security Team. The company supposedly has hired former US intelligence and FBI agents to staff this team, but little is known about how they operate.
Shumeyko first reached out to the Global Security Team in 2017 to warn them about a phishing scam targeting Apple employees. He then followed up in 2020 with information about the iOS 14 and iPhone 12 leak.