Australian teen 'hacked Apple mainframe', sparking FBI investigation

Teenage Apple fan stole 90GB of Cupertino's confidential data

The Apple logo superimposed over Uluru in Australia, also known as Ayer's Rock

Apple's internal systems were breached by an Australian teenager who made off with 90GB of confidential files, prompting an FBI investigation.

Australian courts were told that the private schoolboy from Melbourne, who started his activities at the age of 16, developed custom software tools to bypass Apple's security measures and hide his identity. According to Australian newspaper The Age, the hacking tools and instructions were saved in a folder named "hacky hack hack".

The defendant's lawyer said that the reason he broke into Apple's mainframe was that he was a fan of the company, and the teen himself reportedly told police that he "dreamed" of working for the Cupertino-based tech giant. According to his lawyer, the teen is a well-known figure in the hacking community.

The boy allegedly infiltrated Apple's systems multiple times over the course of a year, and in addition to 90GB of files, also accessed 'authorised keys' - secure authentication tokens which are used to validate user logins.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Once Apple detected his presence in their networks, the company contacted the FBI, the court heard. The US agency then contacted their antipodean counterparts, the Australian Federal Police, which searched the defendant's family home and discovered computer hardware linking him to the attacks.

"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 drive were also seized and the IP address ... matched the intrusions into the organisation."

"The purpose was to connect remotely to the company's internal systems."

The teen, who supposedly bragged about the attacks over WhatsApp, is due to be sentenced next month.

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/business-strategy/33311/apple-launches-new-tv-gaming-and-finance-services
Business strategy

Apple launches new TV, gaming and finance services

25 Mar 2019
Visit/hardware/laptops/354509/apple-macbook-pro-16in-review-a-little-bigger-a-lot-better
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 16in review: A little bigger, a lot better

10 Jan 2020
Visit/mobile/23617/the-best-smartphones-to-buy
Mobile

Best smartphone 2019: Apple, Samsung and OnePlus duke it out

24 Dec 2019
Visit/hardware/354336/the-it-pro-products-of-the-year-2019-all-the-years-best-hardware
Hardware

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2019: All the year’s best hardware

24 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/354584/windows-10-and-the-tools-for-agile-working
Sponsored

Windows 10 and the tools for agile working

20 Jan 2020
Visit/business-strategy/public-sector/354608/uk-gov-launches-ps300000-sen-edtech-initiative
public sector

UK gov launches £300,000 SEN EdTech initiative

22 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020