Apple reassures customers after teenager hacked its servers

Apple reassures customers after teenager hacked its servers

An Australian teenager has pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple's secure central computer network.

Apple has already issued a statement clarifying that the personal data of its customers was not compromised during this incident.

The Melbourne teen, who can not be named for legal reasons, broke into Apple's mainframe from his suburban home on multiple occasions over a year because he was such a fan of the company, according to his lawyer. He told others about his exploits on WhatsApp, and stored the stolen data in a folder named "hacky hack hack".

The teen downloaded 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessed customer accounts without exposing his identity. Apple then contacted the FBI, who turned the case over to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). "Further analysis found that the schoolboy successfully accessed authorised keys", added the report.

The AFP obtained a search warrant and raided the family home, leading to the discovery of the folder.

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Apple said that it had, "discovered the unauthorised access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement", although it hasn't discussed the specifics of the incident. The laptops' serial numbers matched those used to access the system, a prosecutor noted.

Details about the case are being kept quiet because the teen is said to have bragged about his exploits via WhatsApp, with The Age reporting that his lawyer believes "his client had become so well-known in the worldwide hacking community that even mentioning the case in detail could expose him to risk".

The 16-year-old, who can not be publicly named, pled guilty today (Aug. 16).

Dr Suelette Dreyfus, a privacy expert from from the University of Melbourne's school of computing and information systems, urged against a punitive sentence.

The Australian Federal Police executed a search warrant on the teen's home previous year, the court heard. Putting them in prison is often a waste of that potential. "It's not right, but for tech teens, it can be a part of growing up. there's usually a really anxious teen and family at the end of this sort of court case".

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