iPad Hackers Charged by Federal Prosecutors

January 19, 2011 -

ABC News reports that two men have been charged with hacking AT&T's servers and stealing the private information of nearly 120,000 iPad users including such notables as Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and President Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Some have called the men "Internet trolls" because of the way they allegedly bragged about it online. The security breach occurred during the initial release of Apple's iPad, according to court documents.

The two are 26-year-old Daniel Spitler of San Francisco, and 25-year-old Andrew Auernheimer of Fayetteville, Ark. Both received a charge of fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. The charges were announced by the U.S. prosecutors office in Newark, N.J.

According to the complaint filed by the FBI in Newark this week, Spitler and Auernheimer allegedly used a "brute force hack tactic" over the course of several days on AT&T servers. After breaching security, the duo uncovered email addresses related to 120,000 iPad accounts.

After the attack, Gawker.com was allegedly supplied with information obtained during the hack from the group Goatse Security, described in the complaint as a "loose association of internet hackers" that Spitler and Auernheimer were allegedly associated with.

The court papers cite that Gawker report. Around 120,000 emails were captured including notable personalities and politicians such as Bloomberg, Weinstein, Rahm Emanuel, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, and several Department of Defense employees.

Auernheimer and Spitler also allegedly talked about the hack in chat logs, which were given to the FBI. The FBI says that Auernheimer also took credit for the attack in an email he sent to the U.S. Attorney's office in New Jersey in November.

"AT&T needs to be held accountable for their insecure infrastructure as a public utility and we must defend the rights of consumers, over the rights of shareholders," he wrote, according to the complaint.

While Auernheimer claimed to do this in the name of exposing a security flaw to AT&T to protect iPad users, the FBI isn't buying that explanation: they see it purely as a crime done simply for thrills or notoriety:

"Hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game. Companies that are hacked can suffer significant losses, and their customers made vulnerable to other crimes, privacy violations, and unwanted contact," U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman tells ABC News.

"Unauthorized intrusions into personal privacy adversely affect individual citizens, businesses, and even national security," said Michael Ward, special agent in charge of the FBI's Newark field office. "Such intrusion cases, regardless of the motive is criminal gain or prestige among peers in the cyber-hacking world, must and will be aggressively pursued to ensure these rights are protected to the highest degree."

The ABC News report also points to a 2008 interview that Auernheimer did with the New York Times:

"I hack, I ruin, I make piles of money. I make people afraid for their lives," he said to the Times.

The FBI also claims that the men wanted to make money off the stolen data.. in the stock market. During one online conversation between the two, they discussed holding off on announcing the security breach so they could "short AT&T stock."

The logs, which were handed over to the FBI by an anonymous source last summer, are part of the court documents filed this week, according to Computer World. Spitler surrendered to the FBI in Newark on Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in federal court. Auernheimer is scheduled to appear in federal court in Fayetteville. Neither men have entered a plea.

Source: ABC News

 


Comments

Re: iPad Hackers Charged by Federal Prosecutors

Re: iPad Hackers Charged by Federal Prosecutors

So, bragging = trolling somehow?

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

What do you think about Bill Paxton taking on the film role of Jack Thompson?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
prh99I'd happily run DBAN on all their servers and back up with a 7 pass wipe.04/18/2015 - 1:07am
Matthew Wilsonmetaphorically speaking of course04/17/2015 - 9:40pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/brevity-is-the-soul-of-twit I agree with TB twiter is not good for anything more their links. twiter is a toxic wasteland, and I wish I can nuke it from orbit.04/17/2015 - 9:38pm
MechaCrashI can understand why Sony wants the Pokemon and Smash movie rights, but it's not hard to see why Nintendo wouldn't want to sell to them. Kinda their competitors in the console arena.04/17/2015 - 8:01pm
PHX Corp@MW We won't know until the nintendo General Shareholders meeting if the leaks(From Sony Pictures) is true or not04/17/2015 - 7:55pm
MechaCrashIn GG news: they got kicked out of Calgary Expo for getting a booth under false pretenses and disrupting panels. http://www.themarysue.com/calgary-expo-gamergate-evicted/ How long before they get thrown under the No True Scotsman bus?04/17/2015 - 7:53pm
MechaTama31EZK: Because what if I want to see that website I was looking at a while ago? Well, just keep scanning through my tabs til I see it! There's an aspect of archaeology to it, too. "Oh yeah, I was looking up how to build my own pizza oven. Good times..."04/17/2015 - 6:52pm
Matthew Wilsondo it in the art style of those trailers, and I am on board.04/17/2015 - 5:24pm
PHX Corphttp://mynintendonews.com/2015/04/17/sony-were-apparently-trying-to-get-the-rights-to-a-pokemon-and-super-smash-bros-movie/ Sony Were Apparently Trying To Get The Rights To A Pokemon And Super Smash Bros Movie04/17/2015 - 4:14pm
E. Zachary KnightCan't wait to see the new digs on Saturday.04/17/2015 - 1:41pm
Andrew EisenBy the by, I moved this week so if I dropped a comment thread or two, my apologies for leaving you hanging.04/17/2015 - 12:22pm
Andrew EisenIf I were going to buy Mortal Kombat X, I'd wait for the inevitable Game of the Year edition that includes all the DLC for an overall cheaper price.04/17/2015 - 12:22pm
PHX CorpMortal Kombat X: On Disc DLC Confirmed Read more at http://gamingbolt.com/mortal-kombat-x-on-disc-dlc-confirmed04/17/2015 - 12:17pm
james_fudgeme04/17/2015 - 8:37am
Ryan RardinWho else would like to see The Misadventures of Tron Bonne on PlayStation Classics?04/17/2015 - 2:21am
ZippyDSMleeso I can save my bookmarks and nuke it with a ree install put my bookmarks back reget all my plugins and I am good to go04/17/2015 - 2:15am
ZippyDSMleeMechaTama31: I run 70 tabs and use a suspend plugin to suspend them. i have a folder in my bookmarks that have all my pluings in it04/17/2015 - 2:14am
E. Zachary KnightOnly one question: Why?04/16/2015 - 10:16pm
MechaTama31Most of which I could probably delete the bookmark for too, if I had the inclination to wade through them.04/16/2015 - 9:16pm
MechaTama31So I've been keeping my set of tabs in firefox for years now. I finally got tired of the sluggish performance and eventual memory bloat and decided to archive them all to bookmarks and start fresh. 792 tabs. >.>04/16/2015 - 9:15pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician