Ipad Security Breach
If you ever hear someone talking about an iPad security breach, you shouldn’t be surprised because such an event has actually taken place in 2010. Because of that event many have started to think about the vulnerability of portable devices as price you have to pay for their slickness, powerful hardware and convenience. This security breach that I’m talking about affected a certain Web service used by the 2010 iPad 3G made available by Apple. Its victims were not only ordinary people but also government figures like the White House Chief of Staff at the time, Rahm Emanuel.
Those who revealed the security breach were of course hackers who took advantage of it in order to access the personal information of around 114,000 iPad users. The information that was exposed about each user includes email address and the ICC-ID, a unique ID that’s part of any iPad’s SIM card because it’s the item used to identify a mobile subscriber and allow him/her to connect to a certain mobile network. However, officials keep claiming even nowadays that only email addresses were compromised. Fortunately the security breach was limited to the 3G iPads that used at the time the AT&T 3G network available.
What’s more worrying than anything else is that the data breach was detected and addressed by AT&T only after the hacker group that decided to exploit it made the carrier aware of the situation. As a result, AT&T felt the need to let its subscribers know, soon after the incident, that the situation is being kept under control and privacy is being preserved. The carrier also felt the need to stress that the even if ICC IDs were exposed, the only information that can be derived from them is the email address of the subscriber.
Since June 2010 when this iPad security breach was revealed, the group of hackers responsible for its reveal has been closely looked at. As a result in January of 2011 federal prosecutors made official charges against Daniel Spitler and Andrew Auernheimer that are both part of the Goatse group. This happening proves the severity of the situation, because apparently the list of affected iPad owners includes even some military personnel. Now, the two daring young men are risking 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Like always, actions have consequences especially when they are malicious and they target large and well known companies like AT&T and Apple.
However, AT&T doesn’t lack fault either and, in my view, it has definitely learnt something from this experience. In fact, I think that the entire world has learned a lesson: the Internet and portability are always exposed to risks if proper protection lacks.
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