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The now 17-year-old boy, who was not identified, was placed on a $500 — nine-month good behavior — bond Monday after being caught hacking into Apple’s system in early 2017 and downloading internal documents and data, Australia’s ABC News reported. The teen had first hacked into the tech giant’s system in 2015 when he was 13.
Apple discovered its system was compromised and reported it to the FBI, which then contacted the Australian Federal Police, ABC reported.
"This offending started when my client was 13 years of age, a very young age," the teen’s lawyer, Mark Twiggs, reportedly said in court on Monday. "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.”
Twiggs cited a separate incident in Europe when another person hacked into Apple’s system and allegedly got a job afterward.
"He didn't know this was going to lead to anything other than a job at the end of it. [This] happened in Europe, a similar person got caught and they ended up getting employed by the company,” the lawyer said.
The lawyer asked the judge not to convict the teen because he was “remorseful” and Apple didn’t suffer financially or intellectually from the hacking.
Magistrate David White acknowledged the teen was “gifted” but advised him to stay away from trouble. He stressed that the hacking could have caused serious damage.
"He is clearly someone who is a gifted individual when it comes to information technology, that being said, those who have this advantage of being gifted doesn't give them the right to abuse that gift," White said, according to ABC.
"You must remain on the straight and narrow and use your gifts for good rather than evil," the judge added.