[Update 8/17/18: According to Reuters, an Apple spokesman issued a statement on Friday reassuring customers that no personal data had been compromised in the hack.]
Apple prides itself on offering some of the most secure, private, and heavily-encrypted hardware and software platforms in the tech space. And the company has always placed the privacy and security of its user’s most valuable data above anything else, no matter what the cost or implications..
Sadly, despite the company’s fervent efforts to safeguard its networks and the data stored on them, Apple recently fell victim to a massive hack on its corporate computer network which was apparently so significant, it resulted in the theft of approximately 90 gigabytes (GB) worth of “secure files and customer account data,” according to a report from The Age published this week.
Citing court documents, the publication reports that the hacker — whose name was not released for legal reasons — is a Melbourne, Australia-based teenager described as a die-hard Apple fan who “dreamed” of working for the Silicon Valley tech-giant one day.
Unfortunately, that dream has been shelved indefinitely, as the nefarious teen hacker pleaded guilty to charges of breaching Apple’s system and downloading the estimated 90 GB in private data and files this week.
The hacker was reportedly caught after his home was raided last year by Australian authorities who were working closely with their FBI counterparts in the U.S. Apple had allegedly discovered the breach and alerted the federal bureau of its findings.
Australian authorities found the stolen files stored in a folder on the teen’s computer marked “hacky hack hack,” The Age reported, citing court documents. Australian Federal Police also seized two Apple laptops from the teen’s home, and discovered that he’d somehow obtained “authorized keys” to access Apple’s network.
The report is mum regarding what kind of data and information was extracted from Apple’s servers pursuant with the teen’s 90 GB theft, and it’s unknown how widespread the breach was — whether it has worldwide implications, or whether it’s local to Australia.
The teen’s motive is also unknown, and it’s unclear if any of the acquired data was sold or distributed to third-party sources, although the hacker was documented to have been in communication with with others regarding his intrusion of Apple’s system on WhatsApp.
The content of those conversations was not released, however, and Apple has yet to officially comment on the ongoing litigation.