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Teen Apple Hacker Gets Probation

UPDATED Sept. 27, 2018 with teenager's sentence of probation.

An Australian teenager was such a fan of Apple that he hacked into the company's servers and copied 90GB of internal data.

An Apple Store in the Melbourne suburbs. Credit: Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

(Image credit: An Apple Store in the Melbourne suburbs. Credit: Nils Versemann/Shutterstock)

The 16-year-old, who cannot be publicly named, pled guilty today (Aug. 16). He allegedly got hold of "authorized keys," although it's not clear whether he swiped those from the servers or used them to access the servers in the first place. He also allegedly had a look at customer accounts.

The Age of Melbourne said the boy tried to cover his tracks by using a virtual private network (VPN) to mask his location — and kept what he copied in a folder called "hacky hack hack."

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It's not clear how he was caught, but the kid allegedly bragged about what he'd done on WhatsApp. His defense lawyer said the boy was well known in what The Age called "the international hacking community."

The prosecution said that during a raid on the boy's house, "two Apple laptops were seized and the serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems."

We've never heard that Apple laptops transmit their serial numbers to Apple over the internet. If that's true, then Apple ought to be able to recover stolen laptops for their owners. Maybe the kid should have used a PC.

UPDATE: The teenager received a sentence of eight months' probation on Sept. 27, according to The Age. He is headed to university to study criminology and cyber safety.