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)

While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, Sharmishta's main priority is being TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor, looking after the day-to-day functioning of the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore editions of the site, steering everything from news and reviews to ecommerce content like deals and coupon codes. While she loves reviewing cameras and lenses when she can, she's also an avid reader and has become quite the expert on ereaders and E Ink writing tablets, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about these underrated devices. Other than her duties at TechRadar, she's also the Managing Editor of the Australian edition of Digital Camera World, and writes for Tom's Guide and T3.