An Australian teenager and self-proclaimed Apple fanboy — who can’t be identified for legal reasons — has been found guilty of hacking into Apple’s systems in 2015 and 2017.
The 17-year-old teen from Adelaide in South Australia, along with another teenager, hacked into the tech giant’s mainframe for the first time when he was 13 years’ old downloaded internal documents and data, according to ABC News.
The teen, who is credited with a high level of expertise, created false credentials to break into Apple’s server. His lawyer, Mark Twiggs, told the Adelaide Youth Court the teen was hoping to get a job and he wasn’t aware of how serious his actions were due to his age.
“He had no idea about the seriousness of the offence and hoped that when it was discovered that he might gain employment at this company,” Twiggs said, according to ABC News.
“He didn’t know this was going to lead to anything other than a job at the end of it, [this] happened in Europe, a similar person got caught and they ended up getting employed by the company.”
The judge handed down a 9-month good behaviour bond to the teen and encouraged him to instead use his talents for good.
In 2018, his accomplice in the hacks, who was 16 years’ old at the time but is now 19 years’ old, was also spared jail time and given an 8-month good behaviour bond when he faced court in the Children’s Court of Victoria.
According to Gizmodo Australia, when police raided the accomplice’s home they found 90GB of files in a folder titled “hacky hack hack.” According to The Age, he also bragged about his hacking on WhatsApp.
Apple was not affected financially or intellectually from the hack and customers’ data was not compromised, according to the court. The hack was originally reported to the FBI, who involved the Australian Federal Police and arrested the two teens.
The tech giant declined to comment on the case, but provided a statement to Business Insider Australia made in relation to the accomplice’s case in 2018.
“At Apple, we vigilantly protect our networks and have dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats,” the statement said.
“In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorized 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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