June 25, 2011

Hacker Involved In iPad Security Breach Pleads Guilty

A California man pleaded guilty to conspiring to hack into computer servers and steal email addresses on AT&T's network from iPad users.

Daniel Spitler and another man were arrested in January and accused of tricking AT&T's website into divulging over 100,000 email addresses, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Spitler pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Newark to identify theft and conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers connected to the Internet.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"Computer hackers are exacting an increasing toll on our society, damaging individuals and organizations to gain notoriety for themselves," US attorney Paul Fishman said.

"Hacks have serious implications -- from the personal devastation of a stolen identity to danger to our national security," Fishman said.

"In the wake of other recent hacking attacks by loose-knit organizations like Anonymous and LulzSec, Daniel Spitler's guilty plea is a timely reminder of the consequences of treating criminal activity as a competitive sport," he said.

The Justice Department said Spitler had admitted to being a member of Goatse Security, which is an association of Internet Hackers.

The hackers attacked AT&T servers in June 2010 and obtained email addresses and other personal information of around 120,000 iPad subscribers to AT&T's 3G service.


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