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Apple says no customer information involved in hack by Australian teen

Apple's "global command" data center in Mesa, Ariz. | Source: The Republic

Apple on Friday commented on recent revelations that an Australian teen gained unauthorized access to its corporate computer network, saying the hack did not compromise customer data despite reports claiming the boy accessed customer accounts.

On Thursday, The Age reported a 16-year-old Melbourne boy, whose name is not being made public because he is a juvenile, conducted a series of attacks on Apple's computer systems over the course of a year.

In all, the hacker collected some 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessed customer accounts, according to court statements. The teen lodged a guilty plea when in Children's Court on Thursday.

Apple security personnel "discovered the unauthorized access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement," a company spokesman told Reuters on Friday.

"We ... want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised," the spokesman said.

According to The Age, Apple notified the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation upon discovering the hack, and the law enforcement body handed the case over to the Australian Federal Police.

A raid of the boy's suburban home last year yielded two Apple laptops, a mobile phone and a hard drive associated with the hack. According to statements heard in court, the serial numbers of the laptops and the mobile phone's IP address matched those of devices that accessed Apple's systems.

While details of the intrusion are at this point unknown, the teen was reportedly able to remotely access Apple's secure network through highly protected "authorized keys" and software installed on at least one laptop. Over the course of a year, the boy gleaned some 90GB of data from Apple's servers, which was subsequently stored in a file named "hacky hack hack."

Media is just now learning about the hack thanks to the teen's court appearance. Apple was said to be "very sensitive about publicity" regarding the incident and successfully kept word of the case out of the public eye.