Two Charged in iPad Hacking Scheme

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against two men seven months after a group that calls itself Goatse Security hacked AT and T's iPad subscriber data.

U.S. prosecutors filed criminal charges against two people accused of stealing the email addresses and other personal data of about 120,000 users of Apple Inc's iPad tablet computer.

Daniel Spitler and Andrew Auernheimer were each charged with one count of fraud and one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization, prosecutors said.

The charges arise from an alleged hacking last year of AT&T Inc's servers, which affected iPad users who accessed the Internet through AT&T's 3G network.

Spitler is expected to appear later Tuesday in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, while Auernheimer is expected to appear in an Arkansas federal court.

Lawyers for the defendants could not immediately be located.

The charges come seven months after a group calling itself Goatse Security said it hacked into AT&T's iPad subscriber data, obtaining a list of email addresses that also included celebrities, chief executives, politicians and several senior government officials.

Goatse did not immediately return requests for comment.

Apple launched the iPad last April. Industry analysts on average expect Apple to have sold 5.5 million of the devices in its fiscal first quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel declined to comment. Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

Paul Fishman, the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation plan to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the charges.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Dave Zimmerman and Derek Caney)