A reporter working for the Apple-focused website 9to5Mac paid a source around $500 in bitcoin in exchange for leaked data from the company in 2018, Motherboard has learned.
In 2018, Guilherme Rambo wrote an article billed as an "exclusive" look at some new features for the then-upcoming iPad Pro. In the story, Rambo wrote that "sources familiar with the development of the new 2018 iPad Pro have offered additional details about the device, its features, and more."
But his source was actually Andrey Shumeyko, who for years has been involved in the so-called "Apple internal" community, a loosely defined group of Apple enthusiasts who trade leaked information, data, and stolen iPhone prototypes .
The article revealed that Apple would launch two iPads with only Wi-Fi and two with LTE connectivity, the type of processor the new iPad would have, details about the screen, and the fact that it would have a USB-C port instead of the traditional lightning port. Shumeyko told Motherboard that the article was based on data extracted from an iPhone XR prototype, which he said he obtained from a collector.
Shumeyko, who is also known as YRH04E and JVHResearch online, told Motherboard that Rambo sent him two payments of 0.031 and 0.05 bitcoin (worth around $500 at the time, but worth $3,592 today) in exchange for the data, which contained references to the upcoming iPad pro features. Shumeyko also shared records of the two transactions.