AT&T sorry for iPad security breach

Bloomberg News / June 15, 2010

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NEW YORK — AT&T Inc. apologized to Apple Inc. iPad 3G tablet computer users whose e-mail addresses were exposed during a security breach disclosed last week.

“No other information was exposed,’’ Dorothy Attwood, AT&T’s chief privacy officer, said in an e-mail sent yesterday to iPad accounts that may have been affected. “We apologize for the incident and any inconvenience it may have caused.’’

Up to 114,000 e-mail addresses were uncovered through a program on AT&T’s website by Goatse Security, Escher Auernheimer, an analyst with the nine-person group, said on June 11, after the leak was made public earlier in the week.

The FBI has begun an inquiry, Lindsay Godwin, a bureau spokeswoman, said in a June 11 interview, declining to give more specifics. Goatse said it obtained access to the e-mail addresses of New York Times chief executive Janet Robinson and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others.

“The hackers deliberately went to great efforts with a random program to extract’’ the information, Attwood said in the e-mail.

Goatse, which helps Web firms close security gaps, said in a blog posting yesterday that it uncovered the iPad flaw in about an hour and publicized it in the interest of user safety.

AT&T corrected the flaw, the company said June 9 in an e-mailed statement. The e-mail yesterday to affected iPad users was provided by Mark Siegel, a spokesman with AT&T.