An Australian high school student repeatedly hacked into Apple servers, succeeding in downloading 90GB of what were described as ‘secure files.’ The teenage boy also reportedly accessed customer accounts …

The Age reports that the hacks began when the boy – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was 16 years old and continued for some time. His access is said to include ‘authorised keys [which] grant log-in access to users.’

Apple finally detected the unauthorized access and reported it to the FBI, which launched an investigation. When the source of the intrusions was traced to Australia, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) joined what became an international investigation.

The teen – who is said to be well-known in the hacking community – used VPNs and other tools to try to avoid being traced, but Apple’s systems logged the serial numbers of the MacBooks used to carry out the attacks.

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.

Amusingly, the downloaded material was saved in a folder titled ‘hacky hack hack.’

The teen has pleaded guilty, and will be sentenced next month. The student’s lawyer said that the boy carried out the attacks ‘because he was such a fan of the company’ and hoped to work there – a prospect that now seems rather unlikely.

Via MacRumors. Photo: WSJ.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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