An Australian teenager who hacked into Apple’s servers and downloaded sensitive data has been given probation in place of a jail sentence.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, the now-adult pleaded multiple times over a period of two years, but today an Australia teenager (who cannot be named for legal reasons) escaped conviction and will not serve time in prison for hacking Apple.
The boy accessed Apple‘s mainframe from his Melbourne home, reportedly because he was a fan of the company and wanted to work there in the future. He was 16 years old when he first gained access.
He downloaded 90GB of secure files and developed computerized tunnels and online bypassing systems to hide his identity until a raid on his family home uncovered a litany of hacking files and instructions all saved in a folder titled “hacky hack hack.”
The investigation, however, recovered roughly 1 TB of sensitive information from Apple’s systems, far higher than the 90GB that initial reports had suggested:
Investigators in the case recovered about 1 Terabyte of sensitive information copied from the tech giant’s systems during attacks, a prosecutor told an earlier hearing.
The teenager, and a second, younger boy, had “modified and copied a large volume of data that was sensitive both from a privacy and commercial point of view,” and showed a high degree of skill and persistence, the prosecutor said.
The court was told that the hacker managed to use security keys which “worked flawlessly” to access Apple’s information. Apple hasn’t revealed exactly what data was stolen, although it said that customers’ personal data was not compromised.
The defense lawyer argued that the defendant started hacking Apple not out of malice but out of his fascination with the company and his love of information technology, reads the report. He found accessing the networks of one of the biggest tech giants in the world addicting and found it appealing to pretend he was an employee whenever he gets through its safeguards.
“Your offending is serious,” the magistrate told the teenager, who cannot be named under Australian law that protects the identity of juvenile offenders. “It was sustained, sophisticated, and a successful attack on the security of a major multinational corporation,” she said.
The teenager has since been accepted into university to study criminology and cyber safety.