A 16-year-old Australian schoolboy has pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple’s mainframe and stealing data. Following his arrest, the teen told police that he was a fan of the company and dreams of working for it one day.
For over a year, the young hacker had broken into Apple’s network on multiple occasions from his parent’s home in Melbourne, accessed customer accounts and downloaded over 90 GB worth of files.
The teen is said to have used and developed a number of methods for the digital break-in, including bypassing mechanisms and tunnels to hide his activities. When the Australian Federal Police (AFP) executed a search warrant last year and raided his family home, law officers found hacking instructions and files stashed in a folder that he had labeled “hacky hack hack”.
AFP’s actions were based on allegations that had been communicated to them by the FBI; the latter had been notified earlier by Apple about the intruder after it had detected and blocked his presence on their network.
During the raid, law enforcement officers had seized two Apple laptops with serial numbers that matched those of the devices that had been used to access Apple’s internal systems.
Apple, on its part, insists that no customer data was compromised. Speaking to the BBC, the trillion dollar company said that it had “dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats.”
“In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorized access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement. We regard the data security of our users as one of our greatest responsibilities and want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised.”
The boy is due to be sentenced on 20 September.