AT&T bug discloses US iPad owners' e-mail addresses

A Web glitch let hackers download 114,000 e-mail addresses

A glitch in AT&T's Web site has exposed the e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 iPad buyers.

The data was downloaded by a hacking group known as Goatse Security, which obtained the information after stumbling upon a program on AT&T's Web site that would send back the iPad user's e-mail address when given a unique SIM card identification number known as an ICC-ID (Integrated Circuit Card Identifier).

By guessing ICC-ID numbers, the hackers were able to download 114,000 e-mail addresses, according to the Web site Gawker, which first reported the news on Wednesday.

"AT&T was informed by a business customer on Monday of the potential exposure of their iPad ICC-IDs," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said in an e-mail message on Wednesday. "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."

AT&T said the only information hackers could have obtained as a result of this bug was the e-mail address attached to the iPad. That data could have been misused by spammers.

AT&T plans to inform customers whose e-mail addresses were obtained, Siegel said. "At this point, there is no evidence that any other customer information was shared."

There are some pretty powerful iPad users out there, apparently.

After examining the hackers' data, Gawker found e-mail addresses belonging to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer, as well as addresses belonging to Google, Amazon, Microsoft and the U.S. military.

"The person or group who discovered this gap did not contact AT&T," Siegel said.

Neither Apple nor Goatse Security responded to requests for comment.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags apple ipadsecurityiPad

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Deals on PC World

Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?