Australian teenage pleads guilty for hacking Apple’s network

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Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, U.S., August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A Melbourne private schoolboy who repeatedly broke into Apple’s secure computer systems is facing criminal charges after the technology giant called in the FBI.

Its is alleged that the 16-year-old Australian boy pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple’s main frame and downloaded files worth 90 gigabytes, which he stored the files in the folder named ‘hacky hack hack’.

According to The Age, the teen had boasted about his activities in WhatsApp messages. It reports that he had hacked into the firm because he was a huge fan and dreamed of working there.

Speaking to his lawyer, whom denied the name of the teen for security reasons, said, he broke into Apple’s network from his suburban home on multiple occasions over a year because he was such a fan of the company.

Apple insists that no customer data was compromised but the Children’s Court heard on Thursday that he had downloaded 90gb of secure files and accessed customer accounts.

In a statement to the BBC, Apple said: “We vigilantly protect our networks and have dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats.

“In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorised 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.”

His offending from the age of 16 saw him develop computerised tunnels and online bypassing systems to hide his identity until a raid on his family home uncovered a litany of hacking files and instructions all saved in a folder titled “hacky hack hack”. The source said.

The teen’s defence lawyer said his client had become so well known in the international hacking community that even mentioning the case in detail could expose him to risk.

According to statements made in court, Apple contacted the FBI when it became aware of the intrusion, and the matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

AFP issued a search warrant which revealed  that “Two Apple laptops were seized and the serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems,” a prosecutor said.

“A mobile phone and hard disk drive were also plucked and the IP address matched the intrusions into the organisation. “The purpose was to connect remotely to the company’s internal systems.”

His defence lawyer said that he had become very well-known in the international hacking community.

The magistrate acknowledged the teen’s guilty plea and stood the matter down until next month for sentencing, due to the case’s complexities.

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