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November 26, 2012

AT&T Hackers Found Guilty

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

There is very little doubt that the Apple (News - Alert) iPad is popular with a wide variety of different kinds of people. Even if the iPad Mini isn’t grabbing a ton of different headlines, the tablet devices themselves are some of the most popular gadgets across the globe. The iPad’s popularity can be both a good thing and a bad thing as witnessed by the man who recently hacked AT&T (News - Alert) in order to gain user information of more than 120,000 iPad users.

Last week, a federal jury found the man guilty of hacking into the AT&T servers and stealing e-mail addresses and other personal information. 27 year- old Andrew Auernheimer was officially convicted of one count of conspiracy to access the servers without permission and one count of identity theft. It appears that Auernheimer will be spending a minimum of five years in prison for each charge and could have to pay a fine of up to $500,000. His co-defendant, Daniel Spitler had already pled guilty and is also awaiting sentencing.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

During the trial, prosecutors had tied the two men to the group known as Goatse Security. This particular group is well known as a bunch of Internet “trolls” that work to disrupt and annoy online users as well as poison the well of online content. 

Prosecutors say that the men used something called an account slurper to gain access to the database that held the iPad users’ information. Once they got the information, they passed it onto the website Gawker who published e-mail addresses of some of New York’s most well known celebrities including Mayor Michael Bloomberg (News - Alert) and Diane Sawyer.

Tor Ekeland, a lawyer for Auernheimer, said that his client is out on bail while awaiting sentencing and that they plan to appeal the verdict to a court of appeals.

"We disagree with the prosecutors' interpretation of what constitutes unauthorized access to a computer under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," Ekeland said in a phone interview. He called the prosecutors' interpretation of that federal law "extremely expansive."

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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