Hackers charged with stealing thousands of iPad user details

Two US men have been charged in connection with hacking AT&T's servers to steal the personal details of around 120,000 US iPad users.

Two US men have been charged in connection with hacking AT&T's servers to steal the personal details of around 120,000 US iPad users.

Those affected by the breach included US military personnel, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and employees of NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.

Daniel Spitler and Andrew Auernheimer were charged with conspiracy to access a computer without authorisation and fraud in connection with breaches that took place in June 2010.

The men, who face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each count, are associated with Goatse Security, described at "a loose association" of hackers in a complaint filed in federal court in Newark, New York, according to the San Franciso Chronicle.

Although the complaint filed by the US Justice Department says that the Goatse Security group may involve as many as 10 people, the district attorney said there was no plan to charge anyone else in the case, according to the New York Times.

"Hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game," US Attorney Paul Fishman said at a news conference in Newark.

Goatse claimed to have obtained the iPad user data through a script on AT&T's website, which it said was accessible to anyone on the internet.

At the time, iPad carrier AT&T acknowledged the leak, but said the risk was limited to the subscribers' e-mail addresses, and that the vulnerability had been dealt with.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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