Feeds

Hackers eyed sale of celebrity iPad data

Feds charge Goatse trolls

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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.”

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.