Here is the story of one hacker who got caught. On Tuesday, a Federal Court jury found 27 year old Andrew Auernheimer guilty of one count of conspiracy to access AT&T’s servers without permission, and one count of identity theft. Auernheimer and a co-defendant were accused of hacking into the carrier’s servers and stole email addresses and personal information belonging to 120,000 AT&T customers using the Apple iPad.
The co-defendant, Daniel Spitler, pleaded guilty last year and is now awaiting sentencing. Aurenheimer can receive up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count that he was convicted of, while Spitler is asking for a lighter 12-18 month sentence because of his cooperation.
Auernheimer and Spitler were part of a group of internet “trolls” called Goatse Security, and the prosecution says that the pair used an “account slurper” that matched email addresses with “integrated circuit card identifiers” for Apple iPad users, and then used a “brute force” attack to gather information and data about those who used their iPad over AT&T’s pipeline.
The authors of the slurper then provided stolen information to the website Gawker, who published an article naming well-known people whose emails had been compromised. Those names included ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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