Jury convicts NY man accused of AT&T-iPad hacking

Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:58am IST

A woman holds an iPad as she makes a phone call at The Cable Show in Boston, Massachusetts May 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi/files

A woman holds an iPad as she makes a phone call at The Cable Show in Boston, Massachusetts May 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi/files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

REUTERS - A federal jury convicted a New York man on Tuesday of hacking into AT&T Inc (T.N) servers and stealing the email addresses and other personal data of about 120,000 Apple Inc (AAPL.O) iPad users, a U.S. attorney in New Jersey said.

Andrew Auernheimer, 27, was convicted by a Newark, New Jersey, jury of one count of conspiracy to access the servers without permission, as well as one count of identity theft, said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

The defendant faces a maximum five years in prison and $250,000 fine on each count. A co-defendant, Daniel Spitler, pleaded guilty to the same charges in June 2011 and is awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors said Auernheimer and Spitler were affiliated with Goatse Security, a group of Internet "trolls" that tries to disrupt online content and services.

According to the government, the men used an "account slurper" that was designed to match email addresses with "integrated circuit card identifiers" for iPad users, and which conducted a "brute force" attack to extract data about those users, who accessed the Internet through AT&T's network.

The authors of the slurper then provided stolen information to the website Gawker, which published an article naming well-known people whose emails had been compromised, including ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, prosecutors said.

Tor Ekeland, a lawyer for Auernheimer, said his client was free on bail, and planned to appeal the verdict to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

"We disagree with the prosecutors' interpretation of what constitutes unauthorized access to a computer under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," Ekeland said in a phone interview. He called the prosecutors' interpretation of that federal law "extremely expansive."

The trial lasted about one week, excluding a disruption related to Hurricane Sandy, and jurors deliberated for a couple of hours, Ekeland added.

AT&T has partnered with Apple in the United States to provide wireless service on the iPad. After the hacking, it shut off the feature that allowed email addresses to be obtained.

The case is U.S. v. Auernheimer, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 11-00470.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

FILED UNDER:

Microsoft in China

Tech Showcase

Samsung Sells Shares

Samsung Sells Shares

Samsung Group says to sell 4 units to Hanwha Group for $1.7 bln   Full Article 

HP Earnings

HP Earnings

HP fourth-quarter revenue drops on weak enterprise demand  Full Article 

Surveillance Saga

Surveillance Saga

U.N. committee spotlights 'highly intrusive' digital spying   Full Article 

Twitter Deal?

Twitter Deal?

Twitter in talks to buy Bieber-backed selfie app Shots - CNBC  Full Article 

Google in Europe

Google in Europe

United States says EU's Google case should not be politicised  Full Article 

Thanksgiving Ads

Thanksgiving Ads

Facebook video draws Thanksgiving ads from Macy's, others  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage