No one is safe from the slimy tricks of today’s most conniving hackers. Not Rahm Emmanuel. Not Diane Sawyer. Not even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
These public figures make up only a fraction of the victims in Apple’s worst security breach. This week, FBI agents arrested the two men responsible for stealing the personal information of 120,000 iPad users last summer. Federal officials charged Andrew Auernheimer and Daniel Spitler with fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization, and both face up to ten years behind bars if convicted.
In June of 2010, Auernheimer and Spitler used a script called the “iPad 3G Account Slurper” to attack AT&T customer information and “slurp” up thousands of email addresses, which they attempted to leak to internet spammers. The fiasco has caused AT&T quite a few headaches. The company has already paid $73,000 to clean up the mess, not to mention the blow this incident must have inflicted on AT&T’s exclusive relationship with Apple. (Could this be a contributing factor to the budding alliance between Verizon and the iPhone?)
Stories like these sound familiar, and they gradually change with the times. First there was credit card identity theft. Now we worry about Facebook security. The cyber world is quickly evolving to become more interconnected, and unfortunately, it is increasingly difficult to enjoy the luxury of privacy. With the surging popularity of advanced technology and social media sites, we seem to be trading in our anonymity for easy access. Although avoiding new media doesn’t appear to be an option anymore, small steps like checking privacy settings and watching what material you post on public websites can provide some protection.
Be safe out there.