Hack-happy Aussie teen cracks Apple’s vault, steals 90GB of confidential files

An Australian private schoolboy from Melbourne has pleaded guilty to charges of repeatedly hacking into Apple’s main computer network, The Age has reported. Over the span of a year, the then 16-year-old was able to download 90GB of sensitive files before he was caught.

The young hacker, who can’t be named for legal reasons, managed to crack into Apple’s secure mainframe from his home in a Melbourne suburb because, his lawyer said, he was a big fan of the tech giant and dreamed of working there some day.

When Apple became aware of the unauthorized logins, the company called in the FBI who, in turn, referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Finding “Hacky hack hack”

Although there is no official word on the matter from either Apple or the AFP, a report claims that the AFP raided the teenager’s family home and retrieved two laptops, a smartphone and a hard drive. The serial numbers on the laptop matched those of the devices used to access Apple’s systems.

The AFP also found the software the young hacker had used to gain access to the Cupertino firm’s secure network and a little more digging proved that he then boasted about his hacking exploits to others via WhatsApp.

The stolen documents were found in a folder very imaginatively named “Hacky hack hack”.

Guilty as charged

The teenager pleaded guilty to a Children’s Court, but the magistrate has put off sentencing till next month.

According to the defense lawyer, the teen is well known in the global hacking community and exposing details of the case could put the young man in harm’s way. The Crown prosecutor was willing to keep matters under wraps as well, citing that Apple is “very sensitive about publicity”.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.