FBI investigating iPad e-mail leaks

The investigation was opened Thursday after 114,000 e-mail addresses were obtained

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into the leak of an estimated 114,000 Apple iPad user e-mail addresses.

Hackers belonging to a group called Goatse obtained the e-mail addresses after uncovering a Web application on AT&T's Web site that returned an iPad user's e-mail address when it was sent specially written queries. After writing an automated script to repeatedly query the site, they downloaded the addresses, and then handed them over to Gawker.com.

Now the FBI is trying to figure out whether this was a crime. "The FBI is aware of these possible computer intrusions and has opened an investigation into addressing the potential cyberthreat," said Lindsay Godwin, an FBI spokeswoman.

The investigation was opened Thursday by the FBI's Washington Field Office, she said. Godwin did not know if the investigation was opened at the request of Apple or AT&T. AT&T declined to comment, and Apple has not replied to requests for comment.

According to Gawker, Goatse hackers were able to download e-mail addresses belonging to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer. They also gained access to addresses belonging to employees of Google, Amazon, Microsoft and the U.S. military.

The hackers did this by guessing thousands of unique numbers -- called ICC-ID (Integrated Circuit Card Identifier) -- belonging to iPad users and feeding them into the AT&T Web site.

U.S. law prohibits the unauthorized accessing of computers, but it is unclear whether the script that the Goatse group used violated the law, said Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "The question is, when you do an automated test like this, [are you] getting any type of unauthorized access or not," she said.

If it turns out the data in question was not misused, it is unlikely that federal prosecutors will press charges, she added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityprivacyiPadfbiat&tapple ipad

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?