AT&T fixes major iPad 3G security hole

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- AT&T said late Wednesday that it has fixed a security hole that may have allowed hackers to access the e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 iPad 3G owners.

The announcement came shortly after tech and gossip blog Gawker posted an expose of the breach. A hacker group used a vulnerability on AT&T's website to harvest the e-mail addresses iPad buyers provided to activate their devices, which went on sale barely more than a month ago.

The result was a glitzy who's who list of iPad early adopters, which includes major political figures, military officials and top politicians. Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff for President Obama, was among the iPad users whose e-mail address was exposed, according to Gawker. Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were also on the hit list.

Without commenting on the vast scope of the alleged hack, AT&T acknowledged taking action to fix a security hole.

The company was informed Monday by a business customer about the "possible exposure" of their iPad ICC IDs, a unique identification number used to link devices with their owners.

"This issue was escalated to the highest levels of the company and was corrected by Tuesday," AT&T (T, Fortune 500) spokesman Mark Siegel said in a prepared statement. "We have essentially turned off the feature that provided the e-mail addresses."

Siegel said e-mail addresses were the only information that could have been exposed as a result of the glitch. He said AT&T is continuing to investigate the problem and will inform all customers who may have been affected.

"At this point, there is no evidence that any other customer information was shared," Siegel said.

An engineer for "Goatse Security," the hacker outfit that discovered the AT&T hole and alerted Gawker about its data harvest, told CNNMoney.com that Gawker's account of the breach is accurate. He declined to comment further.

Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), which sold more than two million iPads since the device debuted on April 3, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNNMoney.com staff writer David Goldman contributed to this report.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,065.84 12.13 0.07%
Nasdaq 4,809.22 2.36 0.05%
S&P 500 2,093.03 4.26 0.20%
Treasuries 2.21 -0.04 -1.82%
Data as of 10:56am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 18.14 0.16 0.92%
Apple Inc 114.44 0.45 0.39%
Gilead Sciences Inc 96.89 3.10 3.31%
Ford Motor Co 15.65 0.20 1.28%
Facebook Inc 80.13 -0.65 -0.80%
Data as of 10:41am ET

Sections

Ready to get into the market? Motley Fool experts unveil their top picks for the new year. More

Greece's parliament will be dissolved and the country will hold snap elections within the next month, risking a nasty fallout for Greece's fragile economic recovery. More

Yahoo says it will retire Yahoo Directory, a service that was once the primary way to search the web but has been outdated for more than a decade. More

According to data from Google Trends and GrubHub, Chinese food remains the most popular type of food order on Christmas. More

With rents expected to continue to rise faster than incomes, many Millennials may finally start looking to buy homes next year. What they will find are much more favorable conditions. Here's what to expect in 2015's housing market. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.