ATT Continues Investigation

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

ATT says that more than 100,000 users of Apple's iPad may have had their personal information exposed via a network security flaw. ATT has been the exclusive carrier for Apple's iPad and iPhone 3G network and has been criticized for declining performance. The carrier also recently ended flat-rate data pricing for new users.

But rivals from Dell to Hewlett-Packard are now scrambling to get rival offerings onto the fledgling market, and the security breach could pose a potential embarrassment for Apple's two-month-old device.

On Wednesday, Gawker said it was informed of the flaw and given a list of the email addresses by a group of hackers.

Its report said more than 100,000 iPad user accounts may have been compromised. Gawker reported that it obtained a list of email addresses that included celebrities, politicians and chief executives.

AT&T is now the sole wireless carrier for the iPad and the iPhone in the United States. But it continues to draw harsh criticism from iPhone users over the quality of its network, and the security breach acknowledged Wednesday may add fuel to that fire.

The carrier said the flaw led to exposure of iPads' integrated circuit card IDs, which identify SIM cards in mobile devices.

"The only information that can be derived from the ICC IDS is the email address attached to that device," AT&T said in its statement.

Analysts speculate that AT&T arch-rival Verizon Wireless may eventually win the right also to carry Apple's iPhone, perhaps as early as 2011.

The company said it will continue to investigate the matter. AT&T said the group who discovered the flaw did not inform the company, which was alerted to the problem by an unidentified business customer.

(Editing by Edwin Chan and Bernard Orr)