Facepalm: Apple's system admins must have been resting on their laurels to allow data to be stolen from their breached systems for more than a year. The incident must have been all the more embarrassing when they found out that it was a 16-year-old kid that pwned their protocols.
A teen in Melbourne, Australia has hacked secure servers at Apple Inc not once, but numerous times over the course of a year. The company’s systems are thought by some to be unbreachable, but the 16-year-old proved nothing is impossible.
The boy, whose name is being withheld, secured access to Apple’s mainframe on multiple occasions over a period of about a year, reports Australian news outlet The Age. In the process, he stole approximately 90GB of data and was even able to access customer records.
When Apple finally noticed the breach, it contacted the FBI, which turned the case over to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) when it discovered the origin of the attacks. The AFP exercised a search warrant on the boy’s residence and seized two Apple laptops, a mobile phone, and a hard drive. An analysis found the absconded data in a folder called “hacky hack hack” along with the tools he used to access the systems.
"The teen broke into Apple’s mainframe from his suburban home on multiple occasions over a year because he was such a fan of the company."
At Apple’s request, authorities did not go into detail regarding the methods the teen used to break into the secure servers. It does, however, appear that he used VPN tunnels to mask his identity. According to investigators, his methods "worked flawlessly" until Apple noticed.
The teen was arrested last year and pleaded guilty in a juvenile court. His attorney said his client's admiration of the company is what motivated his actions. He is said to have “dreamed of” working for Apple.
The judge on the case has postponed sentencing until next month due to the complex nature of the matter. In the meantime, Apple may soon be looking for a new systems administrator. Perhaps the kid should apply?