Over the course of a year he repeatedly hacked into Apple’s servers and stole around 90GB of data because he admired the company. Apple states no customers were affected by the breaches of its security.
August 17, 2018 2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag
If you admire a tech company, the most common way to show that is by buying and using their products, talking about them positively and maybe even aiming to go work for them one day. However, one Australian teenager decided to show he was a big fan of Apple by repeatedly breaking into the company’s servers and stealing data.
As The Guardian reports, the 16-year-old from Melbourne, who’s name can’t be shared publicly due to his age, pleaded guilty in children’s court this week to hacking Apple’s servers. He did this several times over the course of a year and managed to download around 90GB of “secure files” as well as gaining access to customer accounts. He also shared details of how he performed the hacks with a group on WhatsApp.
Apple detected the security breach and informed the FBI who shared the information with the Australian federal police. The boy’s home was subsequently searched and two computers seized which matched the devices detected inside Apple’s systems. The data that had been downloaded was apparently stored in a folder named “hacky hack hack.”
According to Apple, no customer personal data was accessed as part of the breach (it’s still a good idea to ensure you have an active and up-to-date security suite running, though). However, there is clearly some embarrassment here if a 16-year-old managed to gain access to Apple’s servers not once, but multiple times over an extended period of time. The fact he managed to go a step further and access customer accounts suggests a serious lack of security being in place.
As for what happens next, the teenager will be sentenced next month, but it is unclear exactly what his punishment will be. If I was Apple, I’d ask the court to go easy on the kid. He’s clearly a fan of the company even if his way of showing it is very misplaced. He also has some talent that it would be best to encourage, but in a positive way. I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to end up working for Apple, though.