AT&T iPad data hacker faces five years in jail

“A computer hacker admitted Thursday to writing code that was used to breach AT&T Inc.’s servers last year and gather email addresses and other personal information of about 120,000 users of Apple Inc.’s iPad,” Chad Bray reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Daniel Spitler, 26 years old, a computer hacker from San Francisco, pleaded guilty to identity theft and conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers. He faces up to five years in prison on each count,” Bray reports. “Sentencing is set for Sept. 28.”

“He and another hacker, Andrew Auernheimer, were arrested in January and accused of creating a program that attacked AT&T’s servers over several days in June 2010,” Bray reports. “Federal prosecutors in Newark, N.J., alleged they exploited a flaw in AT&T’s website, which made it possible for iPad users’ email addresses to be revealed. The email addresses they accessed included those of corporate chiefs, U.S. government officials and Hollywood moguls.”

Bray reports, “Mr. Auernheimer, 25, is engaged in plea negotiations, according to a letter filed last month with the court by his lawyer and prosecutors.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
AT&T-iPad hackers’ site hacked – January 27, 2011
Two charged by U.S. prosecutors over iPad hacking via AT&T network – January 18, 2011
U.S. investigators set to press criminal charges over theft of AT&T iPad users’ personal info – January 18, 2011
AT&T apologizes for iPad email breach, blames ‘malicious hackers’ – June 14, 2010


  1. I’m surprised at all the assholes here.

    No criticism of AT&T and their lame-o non-secure security measures?

    Not like you haven’t fiddled a URL to gain access to something that wasn’t immediately offered but which the work around was SOOOO obvious.

    Slap their wrists and send them on their way.

    1. Exactly, AT&T should be sued equally for breach of trust (allowing massive amounts of personal data to be exposed). In this internet age, this is no small offense.

      What if banks would be so sloppy as to expose internet banking account data?

      Oh well, they may get away with it as well.

    2. On the other hand, the fact that important names appear in the list of hacked accounts, is merely a consequence of more affluent people being early adopters of such groundbreaking (and luxury — not for long, though) items as iPads.

  2. I was just waiting for some asset to post here how what they did wasn’t so bad. Sure hackers only cost billions in damages and theft, disrupt millions of people lives.

    And best of all turn th once open internet into a police state.

    Thanks assgoles!

    It’s about time these jerks get some.

    1. Speeding in automobiles causes many deaths each year. By your reasoning, we should lock up every speeder with penalties similar to those imposed on those convicted of vehicular manslaughter.

  3. Gaining access to an email address is considered identity theft, absent any malicious use? That helps confirm that the US “Justice” system is a poorly written farce.

    Sure, he’s guilty of a data breach and should be punished. Maybe 5 years is even an appropriate sentence. But this is completely ridiculous.

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