The Californian Rivos would have seized sensitive data on the “house” processors.
We must not steal engineers from Apple, and even less steal data from it. The Californian giant will sue the firm Rivos, accusing it of having plundered not only its “human” resources by poaching them, but also asking them to take confidential data with them.
On her website – a simple page where you can apply – Rivos describes herself as being “in stealth mode”. Enough to attract 40 Apple employees since last June: this company, which designs chips for telephones and computers, has drawn from engineers working on M1 and A15 chips, the “homemade” processors for Macs and iPhones.
Problem: they also, at the request of their future new employer, installed on their telephone the application of encrypted communications Signal, to continue the negotiations far from the indiscreet ears… Then, some of them would have, according to Apple, siphoned hundreds of gigabytes of data relating to Apple chips under development before leaving the company.
Apple discovers the deception while digging
The Mountain View company will only realize the theft of data when it recovers the professional equipment given to these future ex-employees: telephones and computers where Apple will search, and get their hands on compromising communications.
The complaint cites the case of at least two engineers who resign, and who until the day of their departure, tried to copy thousands of internal files of the company, before taking them out by putting them on a external hard drive. Some have also tried deleting data from their work devices before leaving to cover their tracks, but that wouldn’t have been enough to fly under the radar.