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Andrew Auernheimer's mugshot  (Source: Washington County's Sheriff's Office)
Details have not been released but some are speculating AT&T requested the raid

Andrew Auernheimer, aka "weev" or "Escher Auernheimer", masterminded Goatse Security's harvest of 114,000 iPad users' private email addresses using AT&T's wide open website.  Now Auernheimer is in prison facing felony possession charges.

Auernheimer, 24, was arrested in his home late Tuesday when police raided it.  At this point its unknown whether the raid was triggered by AT&T or was unrelated to the iPad drama.  AT&T sent an apology to customers writing that it was investigating the "malicious" "attack" by "hackers", and has since wrote that it is cooperating with the FBI in the inquiry.

What is clear was that a large amount of controlled substances, including cocaine, LSD and ecstasy, were found in Auernheimer's house.

For now Auernheimer is in jail awaiting multiple criminal possession charges.  He is currently incarcerated at Washington Country Detention Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The arrest has triggered a great deal of anger against AT&T, probably partially because it reminds many of Apple's requested raid on 
Gizmodo journalist Jason Chen's house, after Chen purchased a lost iPhone 4 prototype.  Cult of Mac writes:

That’s one way of putting it. Another way of putting it is that AT&T’s security malfeasance exposed the private user details of over a hundred thousand customers, and are now busy hunting down and vilifying the benign group of security activists who alerted them to the problem before less well-meaning hacker groups could exploit the data.
While Auernheimer’s arrest for drug charges is obviously warranted by the letter of the law, it’s hard to escape the fact that the Feds shouldn’t have even been at his house. Goatse did both the public and AT&T a service by publicizing a dangerous security vulnerability before it could be maliciously exploited. They didn’t publish the exploit until AT&T had closed the hole. They insisted that any published customer records had the personal information removed first.

Indeed if the raid ends up being based on the iPad investigation, it may end up being ruled invalid, considering no charges have been filed in that investigation.  

The Goatse Security researchers point out that they went to no elaborate means to obtain the information.  AT&T's website freely provided email addresses to requests with spoofed iPad headers containing an ICC-ID number.  Spoofing is by no means illegal -- most cell phones do it to change between mobile version of sites and the full version.  And all Goatse Security did was guess numbers.

They state that they felt compelled to leak the information after Apple and AT&T still haven't fixed a gaping Safari hole on the iPad.  They revealed that hole way back in March, and nothing has been done.  The group says that if they did not approach the media with the massive amount of emails they gathered, the company would have done nothing and would continue to endanger its customers.

AT&T is currently facing more problems -- during the iPhone 4 preorder madness yesterday, it apparently exposed private information of customers by misdirecting users logging in to other peoples' accounts.  This time no "hackers" were involved.



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huh.
By Whywhywhy on 6/16/2010 2:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
My question is this: Why do people still attempt to "expose security flaws" in this manner? It seems like this is the umpteenth time some person or group has attempted to get a security flaw fixed by PUBLICLY exposing it. But it seems to always ends up blowing up in the hacker's face.

I'm not saying it's right for a company or law enforcement to react so harshly and punitively to hackers who are trying to use their skills to point out the company's mistakes. I just don't understand why hackers still try.

Are they just poor altruistic geniuses who are, due to genetic conditions, unable to learn from history?




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