Notorious Goatse Hacker Pleads Guilty To Massive iPad Security Breach

Notorious Goatse Hacker Pleads Guilty To Massive iPad Security Breach

Remember the hacker who exposed over 114,000 AT&T iPad customers’ personal data in last year’s widely publicized security breach? He just pled guilty.

Daniel Spitler — a 26-year-old hacker who was part of the Goatse Security hacking group that exploited a hole in AT&T’s website to steal over a hundred thousand iPad 3G owners’ email addresses — admitted his guilt in the fraud and hacking charges facing him in a New Jersey court today. The plea will bring him down to a 12 to 18 month maximum sentence.

Spitler’s guilt has never been in question, only his motivations. Goatse Security claimed that they tried to alert AT&T directly about the vulnerability, only to be ignored, forcing their hand. However, private chat logs have suggested that this was just standard anarchy raze-and-burn behavior, with Spitler’s hacking partner Andrew Auernheimer saying that he had “not really” alerted AT&T tech support, and that he “hoped” that AT&T would sue him.

They’ve done a lot more than that. Aurenheimer is currently trying to strike a deal with prosecutors, but he’ll still likely face a much stiffer sentence than Spitler: when Aurenheimer’s home was searched by the FBI in relation to the hacking charges, they found cocaine, LSD and ecstasy in his house. and he now faces felony possession charges in addition to the charges of hacking.

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  • Elliot George

    ‘Pled’ guilty? Call yourself a writer?

  • Rjfilter

    Yes, “pled” – past and past participle of “plead”

  • MichaelWolfe

    Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

  • literalka

    This story was horribly researched, and threw objectivity out the window.

    A) You confused Mr. Auernheimer and Mr. Spitler as being the *same person*.
    B) Mr. Auernheimer’s drug charges were dropped over 6 months ago.
    C) You place undo weight on IRC chat logs. They are literally text files and easily changeable. They should not be permissible in court.
    D) Goatse Security’s rhetoric, tone, and choice of media outlet is all free speech. Period, no questions asked. Goatse Security’s disclosure process was kinder and safer than many well-respected security researchers. If you do not like this, write your congressman and ask him to please legislate exploit disclosure processes.

  • Acostoss Momo Poodle

    Mac users, being… blissfully unaware of contradicting evidence? You wouldn’t say!

  • brownlee

    a) At no point did I mistake them for the same person.

    b) Good to know.

    c) Take it up with the prosecutor, champ, on whether they are admissible in court. They’re certainly admissible in the court of public opinion.

    d) And you’re accusing ME of not being objective? All I did was report he pled guilty, and that both guys admitted it in chat logs. 
    You might actually not believe this, but I don’t think these guys should do a fucking lick of time, and as my past reporting on this shows, I think At&T acted like total dicks in this regard. I’m totally being objective here: you’re the one on the crusade.

  • PissedOffAtDumbHackers

    Wow these guys deserved it. What were they planning on doing with the information?
    Seriously they are such jerks. It’s people like this who mess up everything for the rest of us. No mercy, the Judge should give them the maximum penalty.

    Before you start defending them, ask yourself this; were their intentions anything but malicious? What good were they planning to do after hacking the system?

    Imagine if some asshole just walked into your house and stole all your personal information. How would you feel? I agree with AT&T 100%. Who the fuck do these hackers think they are?

    Fuck, whatever happened to “don’t touch what isn’t yours?”

    I’m so pissed off. 

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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