A schoolboy from Melbourne is facing criminal charges for hacking into Apple's network and downloading private user data multiple times over the past year, per The Children's Court on Thursday.
Once the Cupertino tech giant became aware of a data breach - which involved the download of 90GB of secure files and unauthorized access of user accounts - it called in the FBI, who in turn reached out to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Consequently, a raid was conducted on the teenager's family home by the AFP. According to a Crown Prosecutor:
“Two Apple laptops were seized and the serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems. 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 prosecutor also acknowledged that Apple was very "very sensitive about publicity” pertaining to this case, which may partly be because of the infamous, widely covered iCloud hackings of 2014.
The 16-year old, it would appear, had extensive knowledge of developing computerized tunnels and bypassing systems to hide his identity; a great deal of detailed instructions and hacking files were found in a folder labelled "hacky hack hack". Also found installed on the laptop was the software he'd made use of to execute said hacking.
It seemed the teen had gained access to authorisation keys, which he used to access the aforementioned data, whilst using WhatsApp to communicate his feat to others. All of this was going swimmingly, until he was detected by Apple, had his access blocked and was eventually caught.
He later admitted to the police that he had "dreamed of" working for Apple, a claim that was affirmed by his lawyer. Though his guilty plea was acknowledged by the magistrate, the sentencing itself has been pushed to next month, owing to the complex nature of the case.
Source: The Age