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A 16-year-old hacked Apple and stole 90GB of secure files

Published Aug 16th, 2018 11:05AM EDT
Apple Servers Hacked
Image: thanat sasipatanapa

Apple’s servers are widely believed to be unhackable, and to date the company hasn’t suffered any massive breach that would have exposed user data to hackers. Well, it turns out that while most hackers might not be able to get into Apple’s servers, a sixteen-year-old Australian with a passion for Apple managed to do it, stealing some 90GB of secure files and accessing customer accounts in the process. The best part is that he stored it all in a folder called “hacky hack hack.”

The teen’s defense lawyer said the kid was a huge fan of the company and wanted to work for Apple, according to The Age. His name can’t be shared because he’s still a minor, but also because he’s a well-known individual in the international hacking community. Apple, meanwhile, is “very sensitive about publicity” on the matter, and it’s quite understandable why.

The kid apparently used VPNs and other systems to hide his identity and hacked Apple’s servers for about a year. He also had access to authorized keys, the kind that grant log-in access to users and should be extremely secure. The hack apparently “worked flawlessly” until Apple caught wind of it. It’s unclear what kind of data the hacker stole, or how it all happened.

While the attacker tried to hide his identity, Apple was able to identify the serial numbers of the laptops used to perform the attacks, and that’s how the investigation led to Australia. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) seized two laptops, a mobile phone, and a hard drive, discovering proof of the hack in the process, including the “hacky hack hack” folder.

The teen apparently used WhatsApp to brag about his achievements to other parties. He pleaded guilty in court and now awaits sentencing… and Apple should probably follow up with a job offer.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.