16-year-old hacks Apple and steal 90GB of secure files

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Australian teenager hacks into Apple’s secure network and steals 90GB of data

An Australian teenager is facing criminal charges for repeatedly breaking into Apple’s computer system after the company contacted the FBI, reports The Age. The teenager who began hacking at the age of 16, reportedly hacked into Apple’s private servers and stole over 90GB of sensitive corporate information on multiple occasions over a year.

The teen, who cannot be publicly named, was well known in the international hacking community. He pled guilty in Australian Children’s Court on Thursday, with sentencing set for next month. The teenager’s lawyer said in court that the boy was a big fan of Apple who “dreamed” of working for the company.

“Hacky hack hack”

During a raid on his family home in Melbourne, the authorities found downloaded files saved in a folder called “Hacky hack hack.” They also seized two Apple laptops, along with a mobile phone and hard drive. According to the prosecution, the two Apple laptops that were seized and their serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems.



Modus operandi of the teenager

Apparently, the boy downloaded tens of gigabytes of secure files and accessed “authorized keys” that granted login access to users. He then managed to use security keys that “worked flawlessly” to access Apple’s information. He also allegedly had a look at customer accounts. The teenager used a virtual private network (VPN) to disguise his location.

Apple last year alerted the FBI, when it detected the unauthorized access and blocked the source of the intrusions, who launched the investigation. FBI, then coordinated the case with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), after the source of the intrusions was traced to Australia.

It is unclear if any of the acquired data was forwarded to third parties. However, it is understood that the teen hacker used WhatsApp to communicate his intrusion to others. Also, there is no clarity on the extent of the breach, or what type of accounts or other information were accessed, and if the breach was only limited to Australia or was it worldwide.

Apple has not yet commented on the case.

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