Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

Australian teen hacker pleads guilty to breaching Apple’s systems

If you're a hacker who repeatedly breaks into a global corporation's systems, you might not want to store any potentially incriminating evidence in a computer folder named "hacky hack hack," just in case the authorities ever raid your home. It makes their job a little too easy.

But such was the case with a 16-year-old private schoolboy from Melbourne Australia, who reportedly pleaded guilty in Children's Court on Thursday, after he was arrested last year for breaching Apple's secure computer systems multiple times, prompting an FBI investigation.

According to The Age, the teen, who has not been publicly identified, is accused of intruding into Apple's systems from his home, downloading 90 GB of secure files, accessing authorized keys, and viewing customer accounts, apparently because he is a fan of the company. The defendant is reportedly very well known in the international hacking community, according to his lawyer.

In addition to arresting the suspect, the Australian Federal Police seized his two Apple laptops, a mobile phone and a hard drive, after conducting a search that turned up the "hacky hack hack" folder, which contained hacking files and instructions. Prosecutors say that the laptops' serial numbers and the teen's IP address matched those of the actor that accessed Apple's systems.

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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