Melbourne Teen Pleads Guilty to Hacking Apple Servers and Accessing Customer Accounts [Updated]

by

icloud keychainA Melbourne schoolboy has pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple's secure network after the company notified authorities of the intrusion (via The Age).

The teen, who can't be named for legal reasons, appeared at an Australian Children's Court on Thursday facing allegations of hacking into Apple's servers on multiple occasions.

Details of the case are still sketchy, but the boy's hacking is said to have begun at the age of 16, and included downloading 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessing "authorized keys" that grant login access to users.

The boy is said to have attempted to hide his identity using a number of methods including "computerized tunnels", a system which had "worked flawlessly" until the teen was caught.

That chain of events began when Apple apparently detected the unauthorized access and blocked the source of the intrusions. It subsequently notified the FBI, which passed on the information to the Australian Federal Police, resulting in a warrant being executed at the family home last year.

Prosecutors said the raid turned up a "litany of hacking files" on a computer laptop and hard drive, as well as a mobile phone with an IP address that matched the source of the intrusions.

The boy's lawyer said the teen was a fan of the company and had "dreamed of" working for Apple. His lawyer also asked the magistrate's court not to disclose some of the details of the case because the boy is well-known in the hacking community and it could put him at risk.

The magistrate's court acknowledged the guilty plea, and the case has been adjourned until next month for sentencing.

Update 8/17: An Apple spokesperson has told Reuters that no customer data was compromised in the hack. "We ... want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised," the spokesman said.

Top Rated Comments

decafjava Avatar
32 months ago

Wow, Apples services are so secure after all the celebrity accounts that were hacked, that a teenager can hack them.

Perhaps they can spend some of those billions and trillion dollar market cap on, security..

Actually this is a serious issue for Apple as lots of people rely on them for security and privacy, and if that’s seen to be weak still then it may lose sales.

The celebrity hacks were not hacks but phishing of the celebrities' passwords - old fashioned.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GGJstudios Avatar
32 months ago

Still a form of hacking.

Not really. Hacking implies exploiting a weakness in Apple systems. Phishing exploits a weakness in the user. Not the same thing at all. Solution to hacking is to boost software security. Solution to phishing is to educate users.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apolloa Avatar
32 months ago
Wow, Apples services are so secure after all the celebrity accounts that were hacked, that a teenager can hack them.

Perhaps they can spend some of those billions and trillion dollar market cap on, security..

Actually this is a serious issue for Apple as lots of people rely on them for security and privacy, and if that’s seen to be weak still then it may lose sales.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Keane16 Avatar
32 months ago

Hmm last time I checked my bank and Amazon have not been hacked yet..

The amount of silly assumptions in your post make my brain hurt.

Amazon have had issues too, just because you haven't been affected doesn't mean others haven't:

https://www.pymnts.com/amazon/2017/sellers-lose-thousands-as-amazon-marketplace-is-hit-by-hackers/

Plenty of banks have been hacked.

Britain - https://thefinanser.com/2016/11/british-bank-third-customers-accounts-hacked.html/
Italy - https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/833440/italy-unicredit-bank-hacked-cyberattack-italian-banking-major-security-breach
Russia - https://www.dw.com/en/hackers-stole-6-million-in-russia-bank-attack-via-swift-system/a-42616207
Canada - https://www.csoonline.com/article/3276275/data-breach/2-canadian-banks-hacked-90000-customers-data-stolen.html
USA (accounting/consultancy) - http://fortune.com/2017/09/25/deloitte-hack/

You clearly lack understanding of IT security. All the big companies throw an insane amount of money at it. But as we've seen big companies like Google with Gmail and Apple in this article or small, Plex (https://lifehacker.com/plex-hacked-change-your-password-now-1715355825) - can be targeted and can be compromised.


these kids are not ‘wicked intelligent’ they are criminals, thief’s that steal on mass

You can be both. They are not mutually exclusive.

And yes to pull this kind of thing off you have to be pretty intelligent, e.g.: https://techcrunch.com/2011/08/26/apple-hires-iphone-hacker-nicholas-allegra-comex/

So the stars that sued Apple over their accounts being ‘hacked’, because it was still a form of hacking, are fake news are they?

Did any of theses "celebs" win and on what grounds? Because you can sue for anything, whether you were right to sue and win your case is another...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
badatusernames Avatar
32 months ago
Clearly has talent. Hopefully in the future he can use it for good :-)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klunernet Avatar
32 months ago

Wow, Apples services are so secure after all the celebrity accounts that were hacked, that a teenager can hack them.

Perhaps they can spend some of those billions and trillion dollar market cap on, security..

Actually this is a serious issue for Apple as lots of people rely on them for security and privacy, and if that’s seen to be weak still then it may lose sales.

Don’t be ridiculous. This is no ordinary kid. These hackteens are wicked intelligent. Companies like apple spend a fortune on security, but there is always a way in. It’s only a question of how hard.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...