In a statement, Apple has confirmed that no personal data was compromised by a 16-year-old student from Melbourne, Australia who admitted to hacking into Apple’s internal servers on multiple occasions over one year.
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 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.
Australian publication The Age reported that the teen downloaded some 90GB of confidential files, and accessed customer accounts, storing information in a folder on his computer named “hacky hack hack.” It’s unclear exactly what he downloaded during the series of network intrusions.
The student, who cannot be publicly named due to his age and notoriety in the hacking community, reportedly pleaded guilty to his actions in an Australian Children’s Court this week, with sentencing deferred until next month. His lawyer later told police that the teen “dreamed of” working for Apple.
The teen reportedly had a method of accessing Apple’s servers that “worked flawlessly” on multiple occasions—until he was caught.
The international investigation began when Apple detected the unauthorized access, contained it, and alerted the FBI. The allegations were passed on to the Australian Federal Police, which executed a search warrant on the teen’s home last year, and found the software that had enabled the hacking on his laptop.