Apple’s move to bring iCloud infrastructure in-house predicated by backdoor fears

“Apple’s multi-year effort to develop its own servers and networking hardware has reportedly been driven in large part by security concerns, as the company worries that supply chain tampering may lead to deeply embedded vulnerabilities which are difficult to find and remediate,” AppleInsider reports.

“Apple’s fears center around the possibility that infrastructure equipment could be intercepted by third parties between the time it leaves the manufacturer and the time it arrives at Apple’s datacenters, according to The Information,” AppleInsider reports. “The company believes that malicious actors could be adding new or modified components that would enable unauthorized access.”

“This fear is said to have been a primary driver of the company’s strategy to move as much infrastructure design as possible in-house,” AppleInsider reports. “The gargantuan size of such a task — Apple’s cloud services serve tens of billions of requests each day — has led to delays in reducing its reliance on outside service providers like Google and Amazon.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Security is paramount.

Inside ‘Project McQueen,’ Apple’s plan to build its own cloud – March 18, 2016
Apple’s deal with Google for cloud services may not last – March 17, 2016
Apple signs on with Google Cloud Platform, cuts spending with Amazon Web Services – March 17, 2016


  1. If I were a government agency involved in clandestine surveillance I would want to intercept the supply chain to install hardware and/or software before it got to the server facility. No one would be the wiser.

    Apple is right to want to take control of the supply chain for their server farms. The sooner the better. They will be prime targets.

  2. How does the USA Govenment go to China and place Chips in servers. I also wonder why Apple wouldn’t supervise the servers being built and accompany them of a FedX flight from China to San Jose. Just wondering. The servers wouldn’t come by sea on a American flagged ship.

    1. What if the shipments were supervised… the equivalent of a diplomat handcuffed to his briefcase? Supervisors would have to be immune to blackmail or bribery. Even then, a large shipment could still be infiltrated by ninjas and silently altered, so you’d need a team to babysit them. The more agents, the more access points.

    2. Apple does not use Apple hardware of any kind for its cloud infrastructure. Apple got out of the server hardware niche when it stopped shipping the XServe. Apple has no control over the manufacturing facilities of other company’s hardware.

      If Apple wants as close to total control as possible, Apple needs to do a modern variant of the XServe and have it built in a plant in the U.S. where it can have trusted persons walking the full production line. Then persons escorting the hardware to the server facility.

      It most definitely is not a perfect system as there are many places where things can still go wrong, Plus this would raise the hardware prices considerably (possibly doubling or tripling it). But if Apple wants to get fanatical about the security of the hardware, doing this would be a major step in the right direction.

      1. My thoughts exactly. When you consider how many servers Apple needs to build out it’s cloud services you’d think the logical step security wise would be to use it’s own talent and build it’s own servers instead of buying servers from Dell that they have no control over.

    1. Apple is moving some services from Amazon Web Services to Google’s web services. Apple is not creating new services under Google.

      Apple’s need for cloud capabilities has far outstripped what it has in house even with Apple’s multiple large facilities. Apple has not grown its facilities as fast as its needs have grown. Therefore Apple has out sourced some services to other companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc.).

      However, Apple’s long term plan has always been, and likely always will be, to move as much as it possibly can to internally controlled systems. If Apple stopped growing its cloud related services it could probably get everything moved internally in a year or two. Fortunately, Apple’s cloud related services are growing. Therefore it will likely be 3 or 4 or more years before Apple gets everything moved to internal systems only.

      1. You may be right, but it seems like Apple’s continued floundering in cloud services is due to poor leadership from the top. I doubt that Jobs had much enthusiasm for renting server space to users. He was happy to outsource media distribution because that’s just like selling sugar water.

        But at some point marketers at Apple started to sell more than Apple could provide. With the ill-fated decision to axe the X-serve and essentially stop all improvement of OS X Server, the die was cast. Apple iCloud, no matter what anyone says, can never be better or cheaper than the competition because all it is is a rebadged server rented from the competition. Apple correctly calculated that users didn’t know or care … until now. With security concerns only becoming greater, Apple really has to scramble to be able to provide what it claims to. Today nothing you put on iCloud is secure, private, or reliably accessed. How can it be? It’s being hosted by Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

        Shame on you Apple.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.