'Hacky hack hack': Teen arrested for breaking into Apple's network

Updated: The Apple fan allegedly managed to download roughly 90GB in corporate documents as well as access customer accounts.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

An Australian teenager may have found it amusing enough when he managed to break into Apple's mainframe to name a folder full of stolen Apple files "hacky hack hack," but law enforcement has not found it funny.

A teenager from Melbourne, unnamed for legal reasons, is now facing criminal charges after he allegedly accessed Apple's network without permission, leading to the theft of documents and the apparent compromise of customer accounts.

As reported by The Age, the teenager managed to compromise "Apple's mainframe" a number of times from his bedroom over the course of a year.

At the Australian Children's Court on Thursday, prosecutors reportedly heard that the teenager downloaded roughly 90GB of content from the network which was stored in a folder called "hacky hack hack."

Apple uncovered the intrusion and contained the FBI, which communicated the incident to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The AFP obtained a search warrant and raided the family home, leading to the discovery of the folder.

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Two Apple laptops, a mobile phone, and a hard drive were confiscated. According to the publication, the serial numbers of the laptops matched those tracked as the devices used to compromise the network, made possible by obtaining authorization keys.

The teenager allegedly also accessed customer accounts, although the size and scope of the accounts has not been made public.

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The teenager's lawyer said the reason he hacked into the network was that he was a fan of the iPad and iPhone maker, considered it a "dream" to one day work for the company, and that the defendant was "well-known" in the international hacking community.

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The defendant has pleaded guilty and will return to court next month for sentencing.

The alleged network breach comes after iOS source code was leaked on GitHub. Apple acknowledged the leak but said that the three-year-old source code did not impact the security of modern devices.

An Apple spokesperson told ZDNet:

"At Apple, we vigilantly protect our networks and have dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats.

"In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorised access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement.

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."

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