Feeds

Hackers eyed sale of celebrity iPad data

Feds charge Goatse trolls

The essential guide to IT transformation

Two hackers accused of stealing personal data belonging to 120,000 early adopters of Apple's iPad tablet last year discussed the possibility of selling it to spammers or using it to promote Goatse, the collective of trolls they belonged to.

According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Andrew Auernheimer and Daniel Spitler also used the information to contact board members for Reuters, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., telling them that their personal data had been leaked by unsecured servers belonging to AT&T. Release of the list of elite iPadders, which included then White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was obtained using a PHP script that matched email addresses and names to the corresponding ICC-IDs, or integrated circuit card identifiers, of the must-have Apple tablets.

“An information leak on AT&T's network allows severe privacy violations to iPad 3G users,” Auernheimer, who goes by the hacking moniker Weev, wrote to one News Corp. director. “Your iPad's unique network identifier was pulled straight out of AT&T's database.... If a journalist in your organization would like to discuss this particular issue with us[,] I would be absolutely happy to describe the method of theft in more detail.”

The 14-page complaint charges both men with one felony count each of conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization and stealing the identification information of thousands of people. Both men are in the custody of federal authorities. Filed in US District Court in New Jersey, it claims they perpetrated the breach “for the express purpose of causing monetary and reputational damage to AT&T and monetary and reputational benefits to the defendants.”

Under US criminal procedures, prosecutors have 30 days to charge the men under a grand jury indictment unless the defendants agree to an extension. According to prosecutors, AT&T has spent about $73,000 remedying the data breach.

Spitler, 26, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in federal court in Newark, New Jersey. According to prosecutors, he was released on $50,000 bail and the condition he not use computers or the internet except as required by work. The San Francisco-based man is also not permitted to travel, except to pass between New Jersey and California.

Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was scheduled to appear in Fayetteville federal court later in the day. If convicted, each man faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Chat transcripts included in the charging document show the defendants and other Goatse members discussing how to capitalize on the cache of information leaked by AT&T. One member using the handle Nstyr wanted to “sell if [sic] for thousands to the biggest spammers.” Before the magnitude of the breach was known, Auernheimer wrote “if we can get a big dataset we could direct market ipad accessories.” He went on to say: “Takes like, millions to be profitable re: spam but thats a start.”

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?