June 10th 2010

iPad leaks 114,000 user accounts… Or more

A recent security breach has exposed information of iPad owners, including top big-name purchasers of the new Apple gadget. Names of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians, along with many other buyers of the unit,  They—and every other buyer of the cellular-enabled tablet—are vulnerable to the recent events.

The breach exposed an exclusive email list, including thousands of big-name folks in finance, politics and media. Names such as New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson and Diane Sawyer of ABC News made the cut, among others.

There’s more. According to Gawker, it was possible that 114,067 user accounts have also been hit, and every iPad owner may need to watch out. A recent update confirmed this from AT&T.

The breach exposed subscribers’ email addresses and  associated IDs used to authenticate the subscriber on AT&T’s network. The data was gathered from Goatse Security, which obtained it from an easily-accessible script on AT&T’s website. And according to Gawker, the route to getting it was pretty easy:

  • Get data from AT&T’s website
  • Provide associate ID as part of an HTTP request
  • Script would return the associated email address
  • Figure out the associate ID with some easy linking using Internet sources from folks who aren’t terribly private
  • Send a”User agent” header in their Web request
  • Write a PHP script

Okay, maybe not so easy for your average Joe, but a simple procedure for those in the field.

And so, AT&T exposed far too much info, definitely not a plus for the telecommunications company.

Since the onslaught of the breach, The New York Times contacted their staff with a request to turn off the iPad network and AT&T sent out an apology, explaining they are “continuing to investigate and will inform all customers whose e-mail addresses and ICC IDS may have been obtained.” And of course, they go on: “We take customer privacy very seriously and while we have fixed this problem, we apologize to our customers who were impacted.”

Read the full story from Gawker, along with the latest update: AT&T Fights Spreading iPad Fear

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.