A 16-year old student hacks 90GB of 'secure' data from Apple

Apple's data is not 'secure' after all.

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A 16-year old student in Melbourne, Australia, broke into Apple's network, not once but multiple times. The student was able to download 90GB of "secure" data for an entire year.

A 16-year old student hacks 90GB of 'secure' data from Apple

 

He hacked into the system from his suburban home using tools and instructions stored in his PC in a folder named "hacky hack hack," The Age reports. He was able to access Apple customer accounts as well. So how did he pull this off for an entire year without getting caught?

The details are scarce for obvious reasons, but reports mention the student used a virtual private networking (VPN) tools. VPNs essentially create a secure"tunnel" across the internet, mimicking a local private network. It is typically used by corporations to connect to a central network from remote locations.

For a whole year, he accessed Apple's internal systems and retrieved highly secure "authorized keys" for logging into customer accounts. His feats supposedly made him popular in the international hacking community to a point where the details of the case must be refrained. Apple even admitted it was "very sensitive about publicity."

Once Apple figured out the whole matter, it blocked his access and informed the FBI. The FBI then informed the Australian Federal Police (AFP), which executed a search warrant in 2017. His home was raided and two Apple laptops were seized that had the logged serial numbers used to access Apple's internal systems and customer accounts. They also found a hard drive and a mobile phone.

Apple probably logged serial numbers to the ones listed on the student's legitimate Apple account before notifying the FBI. What's more surprising is that the student claims to be a huge fan of Apple, and also admitted that working for the company was his "dream job."

The Children's Court listened to his case and the student was pleaded guilty to the criminal charges. Due to the "complexity" of the case, sentencing will take place next month.

 

Apple was previously hit with a $145 million lawsuit by the jury in San Diego over infringing two WiLan patents. The patents deal with wireless communication technology. Apple has also confirmed that it plans to appeal against the decision. The company previously rejected the claims of infringement during the pre-trial filings.

This dates back to 2013, when US jury ruled in favor of the Cupertino giant in which WiLan had sought $248 million in damages. This time around both the companies are in a patent infringement case. There isn't much known about the lawsuit, so it remains unclear whether the firms reach a conclusion.

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