Feeds

Security gaffe exposes addresses of elite iPaders

AT&T on the hot seat

Seven Steps to Software Security

AT&T has exposed the email addresses of more than 114,000 early adopters of Apple's iPad, a security breach that could make some of the world's most elite celebrities and executives vulnerable to phishing attacks, Gawker reports.

According to an article published Wednesday, the vulnerability in AT&T's website was exploited by Goatse Security, the same grey-hat group that exposed Firefox-based attacks on IRC, wreaked havoc on Amazon sales rankings, and pioneered some of the most foul images found on the internet. As a result, email addresses for New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson, ABC Newswoman Diane Sawyer, film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been exposed.

The breach also exposed the ICC-ID, or integrated circuit card identifier, for the group of 114,067, which were all early adopters of the iPad 3G. It appears the information is of little use to attackers, but Gawker said the possibility exists for it to be used to spoof individual iPads on AT&T's network.

According to the report, Goatse obtained the data by exploiting a vulnerable web application on AT&T's site that matched ICC-IDs with email addresses. By writing a script that bombarded the site with thousands of possible ICC-ID numbers, the group was able to obtain the email addresses. To make their exploit work, members had to lace their requests with an iPad-style user agent header.

Gawker said reporters alerted AT&T to the breach on Monday, and the hole was closed. Shortly after the article was published, the carrier acknowledged the breach, and said it would alert customers after an investigation is completed. So far, Apple has yet to comment on the report.

Other iPad users who were affected included executives at Dow Jones, Conde Nast, Viacom, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and AOL. Top people inside some of the nation's most sensitive organizations were also exposed, including William Eldredge, who commands the largest strategic bomber group in the US Air Force, Gawker said. It's possible other groups exploited the same vulnerable web app to make off with a much larger cache of email addresses, Goatse said. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.