Posted on August 20, 2018 at 11:43 AM
A 16-year old teenage student in Melbourne, Australia, has admitted downloading sensitive files and data from Apple’s mainframe and internal system. His motives were to be hired by Apple, being a big fan of the corporation.
His name has not been disclosed since he is a minor, and is on trial before the Children’s Court of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The accused’s defense attorney stated that the phone and tablet maker’s mainframe has been compromised multiple times over the course of late 2017 and 2018. The motive for the hack was to be noticed and eventually employed by the corporation, gaining fame among the international hacking scene after the ambitious acts as well as his own personal WhatsApp group after posting his activities on the popular messaging app.
It took over a year of data collection, including the hacker’s system serial numbers of his laptops, until they sufficiently detected the foul play. Using various VPNs to remain anonymous, the thief transferred 90 gigabytes of sensitive customer account info and many other secure and sensitive files.
No statement has been made by authorities or Apple on the scope of the sensitive data or what the compromised data was in particular. What is known is that the hacker allegedly infiltrated the system after some of the 3-year old source code for iOS 9 was anonymously leaked on GitHub.
This leak does not affect the security of the latest modern iOS devices according to the United States technology firm after acknowledged the leak, downplaying the significance due to the aging source code. Apple has reassured customers that this incident has not compromised any current customers’ personal data, providing the following official statement to the BBC,
We regard the data security of our users as one of our greatest responsibilities and want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised.
The stolen data was placed in a folder called “hacky hack hack” on the teen’s computer in his home’s bedroom. The AFP raided the teen’s home after obtaining a search warrant which is when they found the evidence of the hacks, notably the folder.
Police seized the teen’s mobile phone, one hard drive containing the aforementioned folder, and two laptops used for the security breach. Apple contacted the FBI to continue their probes and further investigation, eventually contacting local authorities (the Australian Federal Police) and tracing the breach to the accused teenager.
The accused plead guilty and claims no malicious intent, performing the data breach purely to catch Apple’s interest and potentially get hired. Apple has not made any statements on employment of the teen, sentencing is expected to be done soon this coming September 20.