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:

Tech Roundup

Reuters Showcase

Killer Unmasked

Killer Unmasked

'Jihadi John' killer from Islamic State beheading videos unmasked as Londoner.  Read | Video 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Ab Tak Chhappan 2" is a futile film: Shilpa Jamkhandikar  Full Article 

DLF Penalty

DLF Penalty

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty.  Full Article 

Fresh Charges

Fresh Charges

Canadian woman accuses Bikram yoga founder of sexual assault.  Full Article 

Maid Abuse Case

Maid Abuse Case

Hong Kong woman jailed for six years for abusing Indonesian maid.  Full Article 

India's Growth Story

India's Growth Story

S&P raises India's GDP forecasts, says it's a bright spot in Asia.  Read 

Net Rules

Net Rules

Tougher Internet rules to hit cable, telecoms companies.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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