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Australian teen stole 90 gigabytes of private data from Apple servers

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A Melbourne, Australia teenager is facing criminal charges after accessing Apple’s backend network multiple times over a year, according to Australian newspaper The Age. He apparently did this out of love, his lawyer says, because he admired the company and “dreamed of” working there. He managed to download 90GB of “secure files” and customer accounts, although it’s unclear exactly what part of the network infrastructure he accessed.

He reportedly developed multiple backdoors and evaded detection up until a raid on his parents’ home exposed a bunch of stolen files and instructions saved in a folder very obviously named “hacky hack hack.” Australian police also seized two laptops, a phone, and hard drive from the teen. He also apparently relied on some sort of software to help him inside, but again, it’s not clear what function this software served. He has pleaded guilty and is due next month for sentencing. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update if we hear back.

This, of course, isn’t the first time hackers have been drawn to Apple data. Most infamously, hackers accessed multiple celebrities’ iCloud accounts through a phishing campaign that led to the publishing of female victims’ nude photos. It’s possible that this Australian hacker also infiltrated iCloud accounts as opposed to some deep layer of Apple’s network. More recently, the Turkish Crime Factory claimed to have stolen hundreds of millions of iCloud credentials, but ultimately was found to have just recycled already public data. It isn’t clear whether this Australian teen found a novel way in or relied on old work.