Hacker Pleads Guilty in AT&T iPad Breach

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. MacRumors, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2011

    macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    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 "Goat-se Security", Andrew Auernheimer, was charged as well and is still in plea bargain negotiations. Spitler's plea agreement recommends a 12-18 month sentence.
    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.

    Article Link: Hacker Pleads Guilty in AT&T iPad Breach
  2. macrumors 68000

    Apr 13, 2010
    Into the lungs of Hell
  3. macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2008
    Remind me again what AT&T got for this? Oh, that's right. A slap on the wrist.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2010
    Did they even get a slap for this?

    What did the guys plead guilty to anyway? It sounds like all they did was download info AT&T made available on their site. It AT&T had put all that info in a single txt file would downloading it have been a crime?
  5. macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    I bet he didn't think he'd spend time in prison when he did it.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2008
    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.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    This is so true. People forget this all too often.
  8. macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Thanks. :) I had a look at the original Gawker article in the end to see, bought back bad memories. :eek:
  9. macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA
    I wonder how many job offers he's received because of this. :rolleyes:
  10. macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Not from ATT & apple for sure
  11. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    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.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2007
    Releasing personal info was bad mojo. IF they are being giving time for that, maybe I can understand. For actually gathering the information and doing the "hack" I think at most they should get a small fine and community service hours.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2008
    A store that is holding YOUR merchandise for you would have some accountability if they allowed it to be stolen.

    A better analogy is a museum that is holding a collection of valuable artifacts from some other museum or group of museums. Don't you think there would be some kind of retribution if the museum was robbed? Especially if the robbery was due to a flaw in the security of the museum.

    Obviously the value of the merchandise (data) should be considered. But more than likely some rather important people had their email addresses exposed.

    I agree the hackers should be punished, but that does not negate AT&T's responsibility.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    White Lake, MI
    Am I the only one who could care less if my email was "leaked". Sure, what they did is wrong but I think people blow things out of proportion a lot...
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I can not believe that companies like at&t can get hacked by some guy sitting in their bedroom and they're not the ones standing trial! It's far from okay and irresponsible on their part.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2008
    Writing a script to guess some numbers and querying AT&T's website is in no way hacking anything.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2009
    Both this article and the one linked saying they pled guilty left me totally confused as to what they actually did. It sounds like all they did was discover that if you went to a certain public URL on one of AT&T's servers and gave it a valid SIM number, it'd give an email address back that was associated with that SIM number. It wasn't even clear to me if the people who were charged did anything with the data, and it sounded to me like they may have reported the security hole.

    Wow, really?!? You can get a maximum of 10 years for downloading data from a public web server? What was the charge??? Who decides which data makes it a criminal offense?
  18. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    no but it shows AT&T system had crap security and there is no denying that. It depends how it is done if you get a job offer.
    One guy wrote a script to test something security wise on face book and turned out it spread like wild fire. Now Facebook offered him a job but it took some pretty fancy work to exploit the flaw and even find it. On top of that he made no attempted to even hide who he was when he did it. It just spread a lot father than he planned on because at first it was just a test to see if it could be done.
    he told facebook exactly how he did it and what the hole he found. They gave him a job but that was more of a white hacker example.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    Ok so someone hacked and got a bunch of e-mail addresses. Did he exploit/steal anyone? No. He even helped at&t by pointing out that security breach before someone else with worse intentions hacked it.
    And you think that person should rot in jail for a year and more? Have you seen how is a jail inside? It's not easy to go in there you know. And especially for someone who didn't commit such a big crime...
  20. macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2011
    And that is how hackers get bad reputation... Maybe people should google more about hacker vs cracker.
  21. macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2011
    North Carolina
    Exactly! The general public has no idea what a script kiddie is vs a hacker and the media has branded hacker as someone who is "out to destroy all computers."

    To be honest I really am not sure what of this was illegal except maybe posting the emails.

    It's like a website that gives the current time when polled and someone writes a script to poll it every second.

    If no password or security is offered it is not hacking. Through my web travels I find numerous examples of this, the worst is one of AT&Ts competitors but anyhow...
  22. macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    He pled guilty two two felony charges. Sounds pretty serious to me.
  23. macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2006
    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.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2008
    Georgia USA
    A hacker is a hacker is a hacker. :mad:

  25. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2008
    Georgia USA

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