A man accused of hacking into AT&Ts network and stealing email accounts and other information belonging to about 120,000 iPad users has been indicted by a grand jury in New Jersey after a co-defendant entered a guilty plea last month.
Andrew Auernheimer was charged by a grand jury in Newark, N.J. with one count of conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers and one count of identity theft, Reuters reported, citing the office of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey.
A few weeks ago, Auernheimers co-defendant, 26-year-old Daniel Spitler, pleaded guilty to two felony charges, IDG News Service reported in an article on June 23, citing a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Justice. Spitler faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, but his plea agreement recommends a 12- to 18-month sentence, according to the report.
The two men wrote a script that retrieved personal information of iPad users without their authorization by fooling AT&T servers into believing they were communicating with an actual iPad, according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Federal authorities allege the defendants released the stolen information to the website Gawker, which reported that the security breach exposed an exclusive email list of iPad owners, including such notable names as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, film producer Harvey Weinstein and Diane Sawyer of ABC News.