A former Apple engineer who was fired by the company for allegedly leaking confidential information to the media used his bathroom breaks to delete messaging apps that may have contained evidence, according to a lawsuit filed by the iPhone maker against the ex-worker.

Andrew Aude, who worked as a software engineer at the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s iOS division, allegedly used his company cell phone to send thousands of text messages to reporters from the Wall Street Journal and the Information over a five-year period.

Apple, which filed suit against Aude in California Superior Court on March 18, alleged that the media leaks were designed to “kill” products and features “with which he took issue.”

During a four-month period, Aude used an encrypted messaging app to exchange more than 1,400 messages with a Wall Street Journal reporter, whom he referred to as “Homeboy,” it was alleged in the lawsuit.

Aude and the Journal both declined to comment. The Post has reached out to Apple and The Information seeking comment.

The Journal and The Post are both owned by News Corp.

Aude was also in frequent communication with a reporter from the Information, a tech-centric news site popular with venture capitalists, Apple has alleged.

He sent more than 10,000 text messages to the Information reporter — even going so far as to have “traveled across the continent to meet with her,” according to the complaint.

Apple accused Aude of seeking to undermine the company through his “vanity” as well as his “personal enjoyment of the media’s attention” which “played a significant role in his malfeasance.”

The lawsuit included a screenshot of a text message that Aude, who joined Apple after graduating from college in 2016, allegedly sent to “Homeboy.”

“Can’t wait for chaos to break out before Apple corporate people even wake up,” Aude allegedly wrote in the text exchange.

The lawsuit also includes an excerpt from an alleged text message in which Aude wrote: “[I] love when I get to leak to my WSJ friend.”

Aude also wrote in his text messages that he intended to “[expletive] with policy and [the] press,” according to the lawsuit.

Last fall, Aude’s superiors suspected that he was leaking to the press and confronted him about the issue, according to the lawsuit.

During a Nov. 7, 2023, interview, Aude “repeatedly denied that he had leaked any information to anyone.”

He also told his bosses he did not have his work-issued phone with him.

“Feigning the need to visit the bathroom mid-interview, Mr. Aude then extracted his iPhone from his pocket during the break and permanently deleted significant amounts of evidence from his device,” it was alleged in the lawsuit.

Apple alleged that Aude used the encrypted messaging app Signal to communicate with the Journal reporter.

On Dec. 12, Apple said Aude “finally came partially clean” when he was asked about the deletion of the Signal app from his phone, though he “offered only narrow admissions limited to the information he had not been able to destroy.”

The company, which has since terminated Aude, said it gave him an opportunity to avoid litigation if he would fully cooperate with the investigation and reveal the full scope of the information that he had leaked to the press.

“Mr. Aude, however, did not commit to cooperating,” the company said in its lawsuit, prompting it to take legal action.

Apple is seeking unspecified damages from Aude.

Share.
2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.