Australian teen sparks FBI action after hacking Apple

Alfred Osborne
August 18, 2018

While the teenage hacker can not be identified because of his age, he pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared at the country's Children's Court.

Details about the case are being kept quiet because the teen is said to have bragged about his exploits via WhatsApp, with The Age reporting that his lawyer believes "his client had become so well-known in the global hacking community that even mentioning the case in detail could expose him to risk".

According to The Age, the hacker was supposedly done in past year when an Australian Federal Police raid at his home led investigators to a folder on his laptop containing pertinent files and instructions, labeled 'hacky hack hack'. The prosecutor on the case noted that Apple was "very sensitive about publicity".

The software that enabled the hacking had been installed on the teen's laptop.

The Australian Federal Police executed a search warrant on the teen's home a year ago, the court heard.

"The objective was to connect remotely to the company's internal systems".

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The major worldwide investigation was sparked when Apple contacted the FBI, who passed the allegations on to the AFP. He was able to access authorized keys that allowed him to log in.

The mobile phone was used to let others know about his successful forays: he posted about them using the end-to-end encrypted messaging app WhatsApp.

He came to their attention after Apple detected and blocked his intrusions, and the company subsequently contacted the US' FBI for assistance.

The court heard the access "worked flawlessly" until the teen was caught. The 16-year-old kid dreamt of working for Apple.

Apple recently became the first company in the history of the world to hit a market cap of Dollars $1 trillion.

The teen has pleaded guilty and the case is due to return to court for his sentencing next month.

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