Two hackers charged with stealing iPad data

Posted: January 22, 2011 in Analysis

NEW YORK (AFP) – Two hackers were charged Tuesday with breaking into the AT&T mobile network and stealing data from 120,000 users of Apple’s iPad tablet computer, including several celebrities, US officials said.

Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco, were taken into custody by the FBI and charged with “conspiracy to hack AT&T’s servers and for possession of personal subscriber information,” the Justice Department said.

If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison and hefty fines.

Officials said both suspects were members of Goatse Security, described as “a loose association of Internet hackers and self-professed Internet ‘trolls'” who look for security flaws in computer networks.

According to a criminal complaint, they were able to access the network between June 5 and 9, 2010 to obtain email data and other information from some 120,000 iPad users.

An article by the news website, which was cited in the complaint, said the breach “exposed the most exclusive email list on the planet,” including the addresses of ABC News correspondent Diane Sawyer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

“Hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game,” said the US attorney in New Jersey, Paul Fishman.

Computer intrusions and the spread of malicious code are a threat to national security, corporate security, and personal security.”


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