Apple reassures customers after reported hack by Australian teen

The Australian teen downloaded 90 gigabytes of secure Apple files and accessed customer accounts without exposing his identity. (Reuters)
Updated 17 August 2018
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Apple reassures customers after reported hack by Australian teen

SYDNEY/SAN FRANCISCO: Apple said on Friday no customer data was compromised after Australian media reported a teenager had pleaded guilty to hacking into its main computer network, downloading internal files and accessing customer accounts.
The boy, 16, from the southern city of Melbourne, broke into the US computer giant’s mainframe from his suburban home many times over a year, The Age newspaper reported, citing statements by the teenager’s lawyer in court.
The teen downloaded 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessed customer accounts without exposing his identity, the paper said.
Apple contacted the US Federal Bureau of Investigation when it became aware of the intrusion, The Age said, quoting statements made in court. The FBI then referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
The report said an AFP raid on the boy’s family home produced two laptops, a mobile phone and a hard drive that matched the intrusion reported by Apple.
The sensitive documents were saved in a folder called “hacky hack hack,” the report said.
It said the boy had boasted about his activities on the mobile messaging service WhatsApp.
An Apple spokesman said the company’s information security personnel “discovered the unauthorized access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement” without commenting further on the specifics of the case.
“We ... want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised,” the spokesman said.
The AFP declined to comment because the matter was before the court. A court spokeswoman also declined to comment other than to say the teenager would be sentenced on Sept. 20.
The boy’s name could not be made public because he was a juvenile offender.


Lebanon president: negative rumors about the economy harm country

Updated 33 min 16 sec ago
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Lebanon president: negative rumors about the economy harm country

  • Lebanon has been without a government for four months since a national election
  • “The Lebanese pound is not in danger and Lebanon is not on the road to bankruptcy," Aoun said

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s currency is not in danger and rumors about the economy are causing harm, President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday, amid concern that a political deadlock has blocked urgent reforms and left the heavily indebted country vulnerable.
Lebanon has been without a government for four months since a national election. The central bank has issued repeated assurances about the soundness of the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar and the size of its foreign currency reserves, in response to speculation over the currency’s future.
“The Lebanese pound is not in danger and Lebanon is not on the road to bankruptcy. The economic situation is difficult but the things being spread as rumors are harming Lebanon,” Aoun said, in comments published by his office.
“We do not deny that there is a crisis,” Aoun said, but added that the country was working to address it.
Lebanon had the world’s third highest debt-to-GDP ratio, at over 150 percent, at the end of 2017. The International Monetary Fund wants to see immediate and substantial fiscal adjustment to improve debt sustainability.
The failure of politicians to form a government needed to undertake the necessary reforms following the parliamentary election in May has added to concern for the economy.
Leaders from across the political spectrum have in recent months said the political stalemate is harming the economy and a government needs to be formed. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri this month said the country was in “intensive care” and the economic situation was “very dangerous.”
While politicians have stopped short of saying the peg is in danger, some economic analysts abroad have been considering the possibility of a devaluation.
“Lebanon’s ongoing political stalemate has renewed market concerns over the country’s frail balance sheets which could propel the government to devalue the Lebanese Pound ... Under this scenario, the authorities would find it increasingly challenging to service their large foreign currency debts,” Japan’s MUFG Bank said in a report on Wednesday.