The FBI started an investigation of a security breach in AT&T Inc.’s wireless network that exposed the e-mail addresses of users of Apple Inc.’s iPad 3G.
“The FBI is aware of these possible computer intrusions and has opened an investigation to address the potential cyber threat,” FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said in an e-mail. She said in an interview no other details were available.
A group called Goatse Security said it obtained the e-mail addresses through a program on AT&T’s website, according to Gawker Media’s Valleywag website, to whom the group released addresses of iPad users, including New York Times Co. Chief Executive Officer Janet Robinson and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The addresses were released on condition that the website not publish them, Goatse Security analyst Escher Auernheimer said in a phone interview.
“We’ve acted completely in good faith,” Auernheimer said. He said no one at the Internet security firm had been contacted by the FBI. “We’ve taken absolute steps to ensure that no one was affected by the data we had,” Auernheimer said.
Gawker Media was contacted yesterday by FBI officials and asked to keep documents related to the iPad security breach posting, Editor-in-Chief Remy Stern said in an interview. He said he didn’t know the nature of the investigation.
AT&T, the second-largest U.S. mobile-phone provider, corrected the flaw, the company said June 9 in an e-mailed statement. Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T, said today there was no additional information to provide.
Valleywag said on its website on June 9 that about 114,000 e-mail addresses of iPad users, including members of the U.S. military and executives at media, technology and finance companies, were compromised.
Apple has sold more than 2 million iPads since releasing the device in April. Some models of the iPad tablet work with AT&T’s third-generation wireless network, and other versions only work on Wi-Fi networks. Apple doesn’t say how many of each model it has sold.
A computer crime task force in a suburb of San Francisco is investigating how an unreleased prototype of Apple’s iPhone was obtained by technology blog Gizmodo, also owned by New York- based Gawker Media. Gizmodo said it purchased the phone for $5,000 after it was found in a bar in Redwood City, California. An Apple engineer left the device in the bar, said Gizmodo, which returned the phone to the company. Apple reported the device as stolen in April.
Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
AT&T declined 15 cents to $25.29 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have lost 9.8 percent this year. Apple added $3 to $253.51 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has climbed 20 percent this year.
Originally written by: aren Gullo and Greg Bensinger at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=as6az34JTBXU