AT&T Hack Exposes High Profile Email Addresses

Dennis Faas's picture

A recent hack of AT&T's web site has left over 100,000 Apple 3G iPad owners with exposed email addresses. It's feared the security hole could open the door to similar future hacks with more devastating results.

Reporting on the hack is tech blog Gawker, which finds that a specialized hacking group was able to acquire 114,000 email addresses owned by iPad users when the former exploited a security gap in AT&T's central web site.

The hacker group, known as Goatse Security, was also able to acquire the identification number these iPads use when communicating over AT&T's network, named ICC-ID. It is not yet clear what problems may result from the exposure of this information. (Source:

Important Email Addresses Amongst List

The list of 114,000 includes the email addresses of some very important people. According to the Gawker report (the site allegedly has its own copy of the email addresses), those exposed include U.S. Senate and House of Representatives staff members, military personnel, NASA employees, Justice Department workers, and even representatives of the Department of Homeland Security.

Members of the private sector who've been exposed include executives at several notable firms, including Viacom, Time Warner, News Corporation, and HBO.

AT&T Closes Security Hole

Goatse Security, which believes the gap could be adopted by malicious hackers to launch remote attacks in the future, found that when it entered an iPad's ID number on the AT&T web site they were immediately provided with the owner's email address via a specially designed script that simply guessed at these IDs. (Source:

Thankfully, Goatse informed AT&T of the security issue and reports suggest it has since been addressed. Apple has not responded to requests for comment.

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