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2 charged over stealing iPad users’ information

NEWARK (New Jersey) – TWO hackers stole the e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 Apple iPad users, including those of politicians and famous media personalities, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday in announcing criminal charges against the men.

AT&T revealed the security vulnerability months ago, and US Attorney Paul Fishman said there was no evidence that the two men used the information they acquired for criminal purposes.

Authorities cautioned, however, that the information could have wound up in the hands of spammers and scammers. Daniel Spitler, a 26-year-old bookstore security guard from San Francisco, and Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, face charges of fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization.

Mr Fishman characterised the men and their cohorts as engaging in ‘malicious one-upsmanship’ as they sought to impress each other and others in the online community.

‘We don’t tolerate committing crimes for street cred,’ Mr Fishman said. ‘Computer hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game.’

Spitler appeared in US District Court in Newark on Tuesday and was released on $50,000 bail. US Magistrate Claire Cecchi ordered him not to use the Internet except at his job at a Borders bookstore. He is scheduled to be back in court on March 7. — AP

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