In a statement shared in China today, Apple said: “We are deeply apologetic about the inconvenience caused to our customers by these phishing scams.”
When news of the incident emerged last week, Chinese mobile payment companies Alipay and WeChat reported that hackers were able to take an unknown amount of money from accounts using stolen Apple IDs. Some users were said to have lost up to 2,000 yuan ($288) following the breach.
According to Apple’s new statement, these victims had not enabled two-factor authentication, making it easier for the hackers to gain access to their accounts. Apple didn’t confirm how many users were affected in China, how much money was stolen in total, or how the hackers gained access to the Apple IDs in question. The company encouraged all users to enable two-factor authentication on their accounts to ensure further security protections are in place.
China remains important to Apple’s overseas expansion plans, but the company has faced numerous speed bumps in this regard over the years. In 2018, Apple moved Chinese iCloud data to state-owned China Telecom, which brought up user privacy concerns; faced an issue with an overabundance of illegal gambling apps on the Chinese iOS App Store; and is now attempting to clamp down on iMessage spam in the country.
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