Security researcher allegedly scammed Apple for over $2 million

Apple cutout outside Apple Store
(Image credit: Future)

A security researcher, who has reportedly alerted Apple to numerous vulnerabilities, has been charged with a number of crimes. 

According to recently unsealed court records, Noah Roskin-Frazee has been charged with allegedly hacking into Apple’s system and stealing more than $2.5 million dollars in gift cards and hardware. Also, the indictment names Keith Latteri as Roskin-Frazee's co-conspirator. The two are being charged with a number of crimes, including wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, among other charges.

“During the course of the scheme, the defendant and co-conspirators attempted to fraudulently obtain over $3 million in Company A products and services through more than two dozen fraudulent orders,” the indictment reads. (Note: Although it's not stated in the indictment, "Company A" is actually Apple.)

404Media says that for the orders that did complete, the defendants obtained around "$2.5 million in electronic gift cards and more than $100,000 in products and services,” Many of these gift cards and products were then resold to third parties, the indictment says. 

Security researcher stole more than $2 million

According to 404media, the court records don’t specifically name either of the two companies involved. However, it isn't too difficult to figure out. Here’s how: “Company A is headquartered in Cupertino, California, and ‘developed, manufactured, licensed, supported and sold computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services,’ the indictment reads. Later on, the document mentions one of the defendants using gift cards to ‘purchase FinalCut Pro on Company A’s app store.’ FinalCut Pro is Apple’s video editing software, which costs $299.99. The only way to buy it online officially is via Apple's App Store.”

But here's the kicker to this story. Roughly two weeks after Roskin-Frazee was arrested, Apple thanked him in a security update, according 404Media: "Apple explicitly thanked the defendant, Noah Roskin-Frazee, in a security update on January 22, nearly two weeks after he was arrested." 

Crime may not pay, but perhaps sometimes, just sometimes, you get a very heartfelt thank you from a big company!

Terry Sullivan

Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.