Hacker Pleads Guilty in AT&T iPad Breach

Daniel Spitler pleaded guilty Thursday to two felony charges related to the publishing of 120,000 AT&T customers' email addresses on Gawker.com. One other member of hacking group "Goatse Security", Andrew Auernheimer, was charged as well and is still in plea bargain negotiations. Spitler's plea agreement recommends a 12-18 month sentence.

According to reports and court filings, they wrote a script that guessed the ICC-ID numbers (used to identify the iPad's SIM card) and then queried AT&T's website until it returned an e-mail address. Spitler had been accused of co-authoring this software, called "iPad 3G Account Slurper."

The original breach occurred in June of last year. The hackers discovered a security hole on AT&T's website that allowed users to plug in a SIM card identifier called an ICC-ID, and receive back the email address connected to that SIM card.

More than 114,000 email addresses were disclosed including the personal email addresses of a number of high-profile political and business figures, though it appears no actual damage occurred beyond the exposure of the email addresses.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
119 months ago

Remind me again what AT&T got for this? Oh, that's right. A slap on the wrist.


It's also easy to steal merchandise in a store, why would a store get punished when someone steals from them?

AT&T got more than a slap....bad PR is hard to recover from.

Hackers are criminals. They should realize that.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago
I bet he didn't think he'd spend time in prison when he did it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

I wonder how many job offers he's received because of this. :rolleyes:


Zero. Hacking doesn't exactly take a genius, and it shows lack of morals and in this case lack of good judgement. Getting caught makes it worse. Not exactly what recommends you to any employer.

Look at it like this: If I did something bad that costs a customer lots of money, my company will say "well, we couldn't expect that; he came well recommended, had no complaints about him for years; no idea why he suddenly sold your customer data to a competitor; not our fault". If a convicted hacker did the same thing, my company would be in deep trouble, because any jury would say that the damage is their fault for hiring a known criminal.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

I bet he didn't think he'd spend time in prison when he did it.


"Hope you like prison food... and penis."
from the movie "The Other Guys"
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

I'm no anarchist but from my perspective, these folks did the world a huge favor. By exposing a security flaw without any malicious intentions, they have made use all a little safer from those who possess the same skills but use their powers for evil. So I tip my hats to them and would like to see the most lenient sentencing the law permits.


Sorry it doesn't work that way. Bottom line is they caused financial damage to a business. If their intention was not malicious and they were "only doing public service" as you think, they would have contacted AT&T and told them there is a flaw in their system. Which they didn't. Instead they chose to get name and fame (infamy in their case) and published hundreds of SIM IDs and email addresses on the Internet.

Agreed publishing email addresses seems benign. But the news article says there were several high profile personalities among that list and I am sure it affects them more than an average person. It is basically an invasion of privacy and I am glad they went after them and made an example out of them. People need to know they can't do crap like this because they don't have a life and nothing better to do and expect to get away with it.

This is no different than you or me breaking into a local convenience store just because they didn't lock their door before leaving for the night and publishing this information out causing them damage. Hey technically you and I didn't steal anything from the store. We just broke in and announced publicly that they don't lock their door at night which in turn made other crooks steal from the store and cause them financial damage. So are we responsible in any way? Hell yes!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

He released the information, that's the difference.


Exactly. That's the problem, the hacker does (arguably) a "good" thing by exposing a security hole. Instead of being a Good Samaritan and doing something to help society in general, they post the information for the attention. Now Email addresses aren't NEARLY the same thing as credit card numbers or something, but the gov. should (and did) make a very tough stand against this sort of Cybercrime.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Camera Lens Supplier Experiencing Quality Issues, But May Not Affect Launch Schedule

Thursday August 6, 2020 9:30 pm PDT by
One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference. Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones Now Available for $350

Friday August 7, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model. The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...