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Researcher: Apple developer site hack? I meant no harm

A security researcher believes he's the reason Apple shut down its developer center but claims he was simply reporting a bunch of bugs.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

Ibrahim Balic thinks he may be the intruder identified by Apple in an attack against its developer site but says he had no malicious intent.

Apple reported Sunday that an "intruder" tried to gain access to developer data last week, prompting the company to take down its Developer Center Web site. The general developer Web site is accessible as always, but the actual Developer Center sites for iOS and OS X remain offline.

No names have been revealed in the alleged security breach, but security researcher Ibrahim Balic pinned the blame on himself, claiming that he was merely trying to alert Apple to several vulnerabilities that he discovered on the site.

In a lengthy comment to a TechCrunch story posted on Sunday, Balic identified himself as a security researcher who consults for different firms and has started doing research on Apple. In his investigation, he said he found 13 bugs on the Developer site, which he reported to Apple through its bug-reporting site.

One of the bugs apparently provided him with access to user data, which he said he immediately reported to Apple. Four hours after he filed his report, he said, the Developer Center shut down. Balic has since attempted to e-mail Apple but has yet to receive a response, he said.

In his comment, Balic said that he didn't conduct the research to hurt people and did not try to publish or share the user data with anyone else. He also stressed that he reported the bugs to Apple before he attempted to see if he could get the actual data.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update the story if the company responds.

Balic's full comment and a video he posted on YouTube appear below:

My name is ibrahim Balic, I am a security researcher. You can also search my name from Facebook's Whitehat List. I do private consulting for particular firms. Recently I have started doing research on Apple inc.

In total I have found 13 bugs and have reported through http://bugreport.apple.com. The bugs are all reported one by one and Apple was informed. I gave details to Apple as much as I can and I've also added screenshots.

One of those bugs have provided me access to users details etc. I immediately reported this to Apple. I have taken 73 users details (all apple inc workers only) and prove them as an example.

4 hours later from my final report Apple developer portal gas closed down and you know it still is. I have emailed and asked if I am putting them in any difficulty so that I can give a break to my research. I have not gotten any respond to this... I have been waiting since then for them to contact me, and today I'm reading news saying that they have been attacked and hacked. In some of the media news I watch/read that whether legal authorities were involved in its investigation of the hack. I'm not feeling very happy with what I read and a bit irritated, as I did not done this research to harm or damage. I didn't attempt to publish or have not shared this situation with anybody else. My aim was to report bugs and collect the datas for the porpoise of seeing how deep I can go within this scope. I have over 100.000+ users details and Apple is informed about this. I didn't attempt to get the datas first and report then, instead I have reported first.

I do not want my name to be in blacklist, please search on this situation. I'm keeping all the evidences, emails and images also I have the records of bugs that I made through Apple bug-report.