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iPad Security Breach Admitted by AT&T

June 10, 2010

Gawker is reporting that as many as 114,000 early 3G iPad users may have had their data compromised as part of a security breach.

According to the Gawker report,
The specific information exposed in the breach included subscribers' email addresses, coupled with an associated ID used to authenticate the subscriber on AT&T's network, known as the ICC-ID. ICC-ID stands for integrated circuit card identifier and is used to identify the SIM cards that associate a mobile device with a particular subscriber. AT&T closed the security hole in recent days, but the victims have been unaware, until now. For a device that has been shipping for barely two months, and in its cellular configuration for barely one, the compromise is a rattling development. The slip up appears to be AT&T's fault at the moment, and it will complicate the company's already fraught relationship with Apple.
While everyday 3G iPad users have to be concerned, apparently some data on big names could also have been compromised including personal information on White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Diane Sawyer of ABC News and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, plus key members of the U.S. military, among others. When Gawker ran the initial report neither Apple nor AT&T could be reached for comment.  However, AT&T has now admitted to the breach and released the following statement:
"AT&T was informed by a business customer on Monday of the potential exposure of their iPad ICC IDS. The only information that can be derived from the ICC IDS is the e-mail address attached to that device. This issue was escalated to the highest levels of the company and was corrected by Tuesday; and we have essentially turned off the feature that provided the e-mail addresses. The person or group who discovered this gap did not contact AT&T. We are continuing to investigate and will inform all customers whose e-mail addresses and ICC IDS may have been obtained. We take customer privacy very seriously and while we have fixed this problem, we apologize to our customers who were impacted."
To date, no official comment has come from Apple. Of course, this latest breach comes at a time when despite massive iPad sales and overall revenues, Apple is facing added scrutiny from customers and the U.S. authorities alike.  First, the company saw two of its now-announced iPhone 4 prototypes leaked weeks ahead of schedule. And thanks to its ongoing feud with Adobe, many are complaining that the company is becoming increasingly closed minded when it comes to allowing developers to work with its iOS 4 operating system. Today's report certainly doesn't help the company in Cupertino, or AT&T.

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