It had to happen eventually. Controversial hardware manufacturer Foxconn was reportedly hacked late on Wednesday and a heap of staff email log-ins and intranet credentials posted online which could allow third parties to lodge fraudulent orders.
In a lengthy message posted to Pastebin, hacking group Swagg Security claimed the notable scalp. Though they described Foxconn’s dubious track record on working conditions at length, the group said this was not the primary motivation for the hack.
Although we are considerably disappointed of the conditions of Foxconn, we are not hacking a corporation for such a reason and although we are slightly interested in the existence of an Iphone 5, we are not hacking for this reason. We hack for the cyberspace who share a few common viewpoints and philosophies. We enjoy exposing governments and corporations, but the more prominent reason, is the hilarity that ensues when compromising and destroying an infrastructure. How unethical right?
The Register tried to contact Foxconn’s Shenzhen headquarters for confirmation but had not heard back at the time of writing.
However, according to their Twitter feed the hackers gained access to Foxconn’s systems via an “outdated vulnerability” in a version of Internet Explorer which was being used internally by the company.
The data dump posted online includes mail server log in and username credentials as well as log-ins for procurement sites and intranets which Swagg Security claimed “could allow individuals to make fraudulent orders under big companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Intel, and Dell”.
“Foxconn did have an appropriate firewall, but fortunately to our intent, we were able to bypass it almost flawlessly,” the hackers explained in their note.
“Of course with funding ourselves we did have our limitations. But with several hacking techniques employed, and a couple of days in time, we were able to dump most of everything of significance.”
Tech site 9To5Mac said it was able to verify that the stolen log-ins worked on more than one Foxconn server.
The electronics giant does appear to be taking measures to lock down its systems, however. Swagg Security tweeted on Thursday morning that the company had closed the compromised services.foxconn.com, quipping: “Guess you guys made one to many orders”.
F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen told The Reg that, looking at the data released by the hacktivists, Foxconn was not following network security best practices.
"If you do a Google search for the site: services.foxconn.com, you'll see that they had a file uploading service there for their partners," he said.
"So my best guess at this stage would be that the attackers managed to upload something malicious on the [services.foxconn.com] server and somehow used that to gain access."
The news comes as pressure mounts on Apple and other tech giants to clamp down on conditions in supplier factories.
On Thursday morning, concerned Apple customers will drop off 250,000 signature petitions in cities across the globe including New York, London and Sydney registering their disapproval of supplier working practices.
Foxconn usually comes in for most abuse, given that lucrative contracts with big names including Apple, Microsoft and Intel have made it one of the largest electronic component manufacturers in the world. ®