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Goatse Security may finally pay the price legally for sticking its digital paws in AT&T's gaping iPad security hole.
Some members of Goatse Security reside within the U.S., others outside it

According to an update on Reuters, the FBI will hold a press conference later today to announce charges of theft of personal information and related computer crimes concerning a recent data leak from AT&T.  That means one thing -- Apple and AT&T convinced the feds to formally charge Goatse Security, the research team responsible for grabbing and posting 120,000 iPad users' emails and hardware identifiers from an almost wide-open online database.

Apple and AT&T had been pressing hard for charges for some time now, but all had been quiet on the western front.

Goatse Security, an international team of security researchers prides themselves on discovering and exploiting "gaping holes", obtained a treasure trove of emails, stored in a database, and posted redacted portions of that database back in June on Gawker.  

The info came from a
n AJAX script openly hosted on AT&T's website, which returned an email when handed a hardware identification number called a ICC-ID (integrated circuit card identifiers).  In that regard, Goatse hardly had to "hack" in a traditional sense to obtain the information as authorities are suggesting.  The only trickery at all was to make the request header look like it came from an iPad.  From there it was just a matter of making a PHP script that guessed random ICC-IDs and monitored the returned emails.

Part of what may have landed Goatse in hot water was that it posted the emails of several high profile U.S. political and military figures, including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Not all of these individuals' emails obtained were ones freely shared in the public domain -- some were the kind reserved typically for official business.

Based on our prior research, some Goatse Security team members involved in the breach resided within the United States -- Escher "Weev" Auernheimer (Calif.), Christopher Abad (Calif.).  Others -- such as Sam Hocevar (France) -- reside outside the country.  The soon to be announced charges will likely focus on Auernheimer and Abad.  Mr. Auernheimer was already arrested by the FBI in the summer of 2010 on separate, unrelated drug charges.

The charges will likely come, at least in part, from violations of the Computer Fraud Act of 1986 [PDF].  That law, amended by the recent 2001 Patriot Act [PDF] to strengthen penalties for hacking government systems, includes provisions prohibiting unauthorized access of corporate systems with the intent to "defraud".  The rather vague language in the bill has provided the federal government with an ideal blunt instrument to legally beat hackers/security researchers with in the past.



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Rediculous
By rudy on 1/18/2011 6:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
How can an article with goatse in the title not have a goatse picture.




"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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