iPad Email Accounts Hacked

More than 100,000 users of Apple's new tablet-style computer may have had their personal information compromised.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

June 10, 2010

2 Min Read

Hackers broke into AT&T's servers and stole e-mail account information on more than 100,000 Apple iPad users, the network carrier disclosed Wednesday.

Inside Apple's iPad: FCC Teardown Photos

Inside Apple's iPad: FCC Teardown Photos

(click image to view gallery)
Inside Apple's iPad: FCC Teardown Photos

The company said it discovered the breach on Monday and has notified affected customers. It also said the vulnerability that allowed the hackers into its computer network has since been fixed.

"This issue was escalated to the highest levels of the company and was corrected by Tuesday, and we have essentially turned off the feature that provided the e-mail addresses," an AT&T spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

The list of iPad users whose data may have been compromised includes high-profile celebrities, politicians, and athletes. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and producer Harvey Weinstein were reportedly among the victims.

A computer security group called Goatse Security claimed responsibility for the attack, the motivation for which was to apparently warn iPad users that their data isn't fully secure. There was no immediate word on whether AT&T planned to press charges against the group.

The incident could place further strain on AT&T's partnership with Apple. Many iPhone and iPad users have complained that the carrier's cellular network isn't sufficiently robust to support Apple's millions of customers in the U.S. Complaints range from dropped calls to poor signal quality.

Some analysts have speculated that Apple will soon end its exclusivity deal with AT&T and open up its devices to additional carriers, including Verizon.

The stakes are high. Apple has sold more than two million iPads since launching the device on April 3rd, providing a significant boost not just for its own revenues, but also for AT&T. The carrier's iPad data plans range from $15 to $25 per month.

Apple shares were up .25%, to $243.82, in premarket trading Thursday. AT&T shares were up .40%, to $25.00.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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