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
122 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
122 months ago
I bet he didn't think he'd spend time in prison when he did it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 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
122 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
122 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
122 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

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

Images of Supposed AirPods Diagnosis Tool Shared Online

Thursday October 22, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly rolling out a new tool to Apple service providers for testing AirPods, according to leaker known as "Fudge," who shared images of the tool on Twitter. Apple appears to be seeking to reduce unnecessary AirPods services by more accurately diagnosing the cause of a fault. Instances of a dirt-blockage, which may be difficult to ascertain visually, can apparently be...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...