Apple Network Hacked By Australian Teenager

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Trouble from the land down under for iPhone maker, as Aussie fanboy breaks into Apple’s main network

Apple’s main computer network has been hacked by a teenager who managed to download 90GB of files and accessed customer accounts.

The 16 year old boy, from the Australian city of Melbourne, who cannot be named as he is a juvenile, apparently stored the stolen data in a folder named “hacky hack hack”.

Hacks of Apple are rare but can happen. Last month for example Apple dismissed claims by a security researcher, who had said he had discovered a way to gain a brute-force entry into an iPhone.

Fanboy hack

But now according the Age newspaper, the Melbourne private schoolboy repeatedly broke into Apple’s secure computer systems over the period of a year.

When Apple discovered the intrusion and blocked him, it called in the FBI, who in turn alerted the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

It seems that the unnamed teenager managed to access Apple’s mainframe from his suburban home, because he was such a fan of the company, according to his lawyer.

The boy told police he had “dreamed of” working for Apple.

The boy apparently developed “computerised tunnels and online bypassing systems to hide his identity until a AFP raid last year on his family home uncovered a litany of hacking files and instructions all saved in a folder titled ‘hacky hack hack’.”

The AFP also found hacking software on the boy’s laptop and that the boy had accessed “authorised keys”, which grant log-in access to users and are supposed to be extremely secure.

Guilty plea

The boy then used Whatsapp to boast about his hacking to others.

“Two Apple laptops were seized and the serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems,” a prosecutor was quoted by the Age as saying.

“A mobile phone and hard drive were also seized and the IP address … matched the intrusions into the organisation,” the prosecutor said. “The purpose was to connect remotely to the company’s internal systems.”

The young hacker has pleaded guilty, and will be sentenced on 20 September.

Boot hack

Earlier this year, Apple was embroiled in a serious security scare after the source code for iBoot was anonymously posted on GitHub.

Unfortunately, iBoot is a critical component of the iPad and iPhone’s operating system. Hackers and security researchers could use it to find vulnerabilities in the iOS operating system or make jailbreaking iOS devices easier.

The discovery of the iBoot source code on GitHub was first noticed by security website Motherboard. Apple quickly filed a copyright takedown request with GitHub to force the company to remove the code.

It later emerged that the original leaker was an Apple intern who shared the source code for iBoot with his friends.

Unfortunately, his friends then shared it with others, and it was from there that the source code was posted online.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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