Skip to main content

13 year old who hacked Apple servers sentenced to probation


Last year a 16-year-old student from Australia was found to have repeatedly broken into Apple’s network and downloaded large amounts of secure data. Now a similar case has come to court with an even younger defendant, a teenager who was 13 when he began accessing Apple servers.

Both teens accessed secure Apple files and hid their identities using a VPN. However, the Apple systems recorded the serial numbers of the MacBooks used in the attacks and were able to trace the hackers’ locations. Apple reported the hacks to the FBI who investigated along with the Australian Federal Police.

The older teen received probation in his court case last year. Recently the younger teen has been in court, defending himself against hacking charges.

The teenager’s lawyer, Mark Twiggs, argued to the court that he was too young to understand the seriousness of what he was doing. “This offending started when my client was 13 years of age, a very young age,” Twiggs said, according to ABC. “He had no idea about the seriousness of the offense and hoped that when it was discovered that he might gain employment at this company. He didn’t know this was going to lead to anything other than a job at the end of it.”

The court clearly felt sympathy for the teenager, who was acknowledged to be highly skilled and more naive than malicious.

“He is clearly someone who is a gifted individual when it comes to information technology,” Magistrate David White said, according to ABC. “That being said, those who have this advantage of being gifted doesn’t give them the right to abuse that gift. The manner in which the world functions is one that is heavily reliant on computer technology and those who unlawfully interfere with those systems can do enormous amounts of damage.”

In the end, the teenager did not receive a conviction. He was placed on a bond of $500 and will have his behavior monitored for nine months.

Apple has not commented on this latest court case, but did refer to its previous statement in which it said: “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.”

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
The best password managers for 2024
have i been pwned owner uncovers 13 million plaintext passwords leaked from free webhost is a safe password even possible we

If you're thinking about getting a new password manager, we can help narrow down your choices. Here's a list of the best and most secure solutions for taking your logins with you wherever you go, no matter what device you use.
No more retyping passwords every time you switch from your Windows PC to your iPhone or from a Mac to an Android phone. These premium password managers have more than just the basics, making your life easier and keeping your accounts safe at affordable prices.

1Password (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS)

Read more
This Lenovo laptop is normally $2,919 — today it’s $919
The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 5 opened up on a table.

Lenovo laptop deals aren’t too difficult to come by, but this promotion was so exceptional, it needed its own spotlighting! Right now, Lenovo is knocking $2,000 off the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s. Since it's normally priced at $2,920, it’s hard to say how long this markdown is going to last. If you’ve been sitting on a laptop upgrade for a minute, now might be the time to get some new gear.

Why you should buy the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s laptop
Built for businesses, the ThinkPad has long been the go-to Lenovo laptop for busy professionals. Portability is one of the strong suits here: At 12.50 inches wide, 8.93 inches from front to back, and 0.65 inches tall, the ultraportable T14s is the ideal PC for frequent travelers. It’s lightweight too, weighing but a mere 2.71 pounds.

Read more
Best Dell laptop deals: Cheap laptops starting at $280
The Dell XPS 13 9315 on a table against a window.

Being one of the best laptop brands on the market, it's no surprise that Dell has a huge selection of laptops that you can potentially pick from. Whether you're going for gaming laptops or just normal day-to-day laptops, there's probably a great option for you. In fact, there are even some great budget laptops for those who don't really need anything fancy and just want something basic to get online and access shows or work-related content.
Of course, having so many options can be a bit overwhelming for somebody who isn't familiar with Dell or the laptop market, which is why we scoured the Dell website and other retailers for our favorite picks and listed them below. This list has a lot of crossover with the best Dell XPS deals, student laptop deals and gaming laptop deals, so make sure to check out some of those other great laptop deals as well.

Dell Inspiron 15 -- $280, was $330

Read more