Internet Law

FBI Probes Exposure of Power Users' iPad ID Info

A federal investigation is under way concerning an Internet security breach that reportedly exposed the e-mail addresses of some 114,000 Apple iPad users.

They apparently included a number of very high-profile individuals such as the White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel; the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg; and Col. William Eldridge of the U.S. Air Force, as well as a number of media moguls, according to the Post Tech blog of the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

There is no report that anyone has been harmed as a result of the apparently inadvertent breach by AT&T, the exclusive wireless service provider for the iPad.

Goatse Security claimed responsibility for the computer-hacking intrusion that identified the breach, although AT&T denied that it was alerted to the security problem by Goatse. The breach involved obtaining first the identification numbers for individual iPads and then their users’ e-mail addresses from the website from which users log in.

The FBI “is aware of the possible computer intrusion and has opened an investigation to address the potential cyberthreat,” Lindsay Godwin, a spokeswoman for the FBI, tells Investors Business Daily’s Click blog.

AT&T says it has fixed the breach and apologizes for any inconvenience to iPad customers. Apple has declined media requests for comment.

An Associated Press article and a post on the Science and Tech blog of the Atlantic magazine provide additional details.

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