Aussie teen rocks Apple secrecy -

Apple is trying to plug the source of a leak exposed by a teen from Australia.

Sonny Dickson is causing Apple some serious grief by leaking prototypes of its products online weeks, if not months, before they are officially unveiled.

Dickson also is making a fortune by selling off some of the kit he gets his paws on.

For example, Dickson posted a snap of an iPhone 5 battery before the phone's launch. The battery and specifications listed on it turned out to be true.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple seems to have been unable to stop him because he is not an employee or a worker from one of its suppliers' factories.

He does have some strong contacts who seem ready to leak Apple information to him.

Dickson said that he also spent his time uncovering upcoming features in Apple operating systems by trawling through developer code for signs engineers have left behind.

What is interesting is that Dickson is doing what the tech press used to do before it became completely owned by NDAs and press offices. One blogger who knows Dickson said that he had made a name for himself in the trade of Apple-owned material "which no one else would post online".

In other words the formal tech press is too scared to annoy Apple by setting its hacks to work doing the same sort of thing.

Dickson has connections with Apple's Asia supply chain which appear to be even better than Digitimes. He got this by hanging out on online forums or on Chinese social networking websites like Weibo.com. He uses Google translate to deal with the language barrier.

He has even managed to get his paws on internal Apple training videos and details about the iPhone 5's battery, its motherboard, Lightning cable and nine-pin connector, and other components before their unveiling.

His latest leak was a few snaps of a casing of a cheaper, plastic iPhone that he said would come in different colours.

Dickson stopped selling prototypes directly after one of his contacts warned that Apple's global security team was about to start an investigation.

He got rid of all his prototypes before there was a knock on the door.