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

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A 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.

    Article Link: Melbourne Teen Pleads Guilty to Hacking Apple Servers and Accessing Customer Accounts [Updated]
  2. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    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.
  3. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    Wow, so young, wish I was that smart

    Also crazy that it went through all of those tunnels — Apple, FBI, Australia police — and they still got him
  4. badatusernames macrumors member


    Jul 1, 2018
    Clearly has talent. Hopefully in the future he can use it for good :)
  5. cashville2400 macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2011
    Apple are definitely better with security than Google. But I don't want to trust any of these companies with too much of my info.
  6. klunernet macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2011
    Hoorn, NL
    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.
  7. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    The celebrity hacks were not hacks but phishing of the celebrities' passwords - old fashioned.
  8. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Astonishing that a schoolboy can hack into a server of trillion dollar worth corporation!!
    Hopefully in the future he will use his talent for something good.
  9. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    Committing a crime against a company who want to work for is not the smartest thing to do. :rolleyes: Don't want to see how he deals with girls he likes at school :D
  10. ikir macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    Never happened, you are just a victim of FUD or your interesting is to spread FUD. £Celebrity hack" was phishing and and the famous script just tried some stupid password. But after yers later, in online forums, this things continue to pop over showing that online community are polluted by fake news. This will continue to fuel company who use this as marketing.
  11. apolloa, Aug 16, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018

    apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Hmm last time I checked my bank and Amazon have not been hacked yet.. these kids are not ‘wicked intelligent’ they are criminals, thief’s that steal on mass and then sell the information on, or use it for blackmail, they pick in weak systems, they should be thrown in jail for life, send a message to Therese idiot criminals.

    It’s always if question if a company choosing NOT to spend enough in security if it’s hacked, perhaps you don’t remember the Sony PlayStation Network fiasco, all because they did security on the cheap.
    I bet if you speak with security experts they’ll blame Apple.

    Still a form of hacking.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 16, 2018 ---
    So the stars that sued Apple over their accounts being ‘hacked’, because it was still a form of hacking, are fake news are they?
  12. Jetfire macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    I want more details. Was this actually hacking? Or was it just phishing or other social engineering unauthorized access? What did he get? Customer data? if so was it encrypted? Or did he just get Apple data? Like iOS or internal Data?
  13. ^Tripper^ macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2010
    Disneyland with the Death Penalty
    That’s one talented kid, breaking into the servers of one of the most privacy and security “conscious” companies around. Hopefully his talent is put to better use after this lesson.
  14. apolloa, Aug 16, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018

    apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    I love all these posts praising the criminal and the crime, If a 16 year old held a bank up at gunpoint and stole your information would you praise them then too? I mean you must do if you hold criminals in such high esteem....

    Don’t worry, I’m sure the organised gangs they sell your stolen data on to put it to good use.
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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.
  16. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    Pay attention, if a thief steals a key to a safety deposit box cause you left it around in a public place then gains access to the bank (I know now ID is demanded etc.) then it isn't the bank's fault but yours. If the thief manages to crack the safe then the bank is at fault. In both cases the thief is going to jail and no one here is praising the hacker.

    The Hollywood folks who sued wanted to cover their own neglect.
  17. Heineken macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2018
    Smart kid, but clearly not smart enough. One obvious thing he didn't do is to not "work" from home country.
  18. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    Hyperbole no one is praising the hacker(s).
  19. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    You can't give your password to someone and complain you got "hacked" lol.
  20. Keane16, Aug 16, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2018

    Keane16 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2007
    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:

    Plenty of banks have been hacked.

    Britain -
    Italy -
    Russia -
    Canada -
    USA (accounting/consultancy) -

    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 ( - can be targeted and can be compromised.

    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.:

    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...
  21. phluid13 macrumors member


    Dec 19, 2007
  22. edgonzalez32 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
    I don't think his age discounts his skill. It's not that a teenager can hack them. It's that someone with that much skill was able to.
  23. MacBH928 macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008
    What year is this, 1983?
    A 16 year old can breach into the system made by PhD carrying people who have worked for decades in the IT security field? Like 6 years ago this kid was watching cartoons, how can he gain enough knowledge to breach in the only $1T company in the world?
  24. rturner2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2009
    No. This is unacceptable. Apple advertised iCloud as secure. Clearly it’s not.
  25. genovelle macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    Actually, banks are hacked all the time and then send notifications alerting their clients of the breech. Amazon’s Servers and AWS servers have been breeched and have even exposed other companies data in the process.

    Apple rarely has this issue but chooses to minimize the amount and types of data they keep on their servers. This is also why they decided to give the encryption keys to the customers instead of maintaining a master key.

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