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How an Australian Boy Hacked into Apple Network

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Apple’s internal systems were breached by an Australian teenager. Read on to know how Apple tipped FBI which ultimately led to his arrest…

The Australian newspaper, ‘The Age’ reported that an Australian teenager from Melbourne, who was not identified pleaded guilty to charges over repeatedly hacking into Apple’s computer systems. He reportedly was able to access authorized keys, view customer accounts and download 90GB of secure files before being arrested by the Australian law enforcement agencies. Although it’s unclear exactly what part of the network infrastructure he accessed.

Investigations & Arrest
Once Apple detected his presence in their networks, the company blocked the teen and notified the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the breaches. 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. The Australian Federal Police who raided the teenager’s home last year, seized two Apple laptops, a mobile phone and a hard drive.

Law enforcement was able to connect the IP addresses and serial numbers of the young man’s devices to the Apple instructions, according to court proceedings reported by The Age. The teenager reportedly developed multiple backdoors and evaded detection up until a raid on his parents’ home exposed and found a trove of hacking files and instructions saved in a folder the teen had labeled “hacky hack hack.” He also apparently relied on some sort of software to help him inside, but again, it’s not clear what function this software served.

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 the teenager’s lawyer, the teen hacked Apple because he was a big fan of the company and dreamed of working for it one day. He’s set to be sentenced next month. The prosecutor on the case noted that Apple was “very sensitive about publicity.” According to his lawyer, the teen is a well-known figure in the hacking community.

“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 reported incident is just the latest in a string of hacks major companies have faced in recent years. In some cases, those hacks aim at disrupting operations. And in others, they’re meant to solely harm the company.

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