FBI Opens Investigation Into AT&T's iPad User Security Blunder

iPad leak info

The New York Times today reported that the FBI has started an investigation into the AT&T leak that allowed a group to derive the email addresses of over 114,000 iPad 3G users. That group, which calls itself Goatse Security (after an old Internet meme I will do you all the favor of not describing), does not seem to be involved.

"The F.B.I. is aware of these possible computer intrusions and has opened an investigation to address the potential cyberthreat," said Jason Pack, a supervisory special agent with the F.B.I.’s news media office.

The leak sparked a huge controversy, helped along by Gawker's original reporting, but the threat itself is fairly minor. The only information that could be gained is the list of email addresses, which is not particularly hidden information to begin with (many of these names are journalists or public figures who used publicly available work email addresses). AT&T closed the hole within 24 hours, and many, including myself and Gizmodo's John Herrman, downplayed the seriousness of the leak.

We'll see if the investigation turns anything up. I'm a bit surprised that this sort of screwup warranted an FBI investigation--I suspect it's in large part due to the fact that many of the specific names leaked were high-profile government or military employees. But the fact that Rahm Emanuel has an iPad doesn't make this a bigger security leak.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in San Francisco (no link for that one--you'll have to do the legwork yourself).

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