Andrew Auernheimer, 27, was sentenced on Monday March 18th to three years and five months in prison for stealing the personal data of about 120,000 iPad users. Amongst the affected were a few big-city mayors, TV network news anchor, and a Hollywood movie mogul.
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Auernheimer, who goes by the hacker name ‘weev’, has been convicted in November of one count of conspiracy to access AT&T Inc serves without permission, and one count of identity theft.
Prosecutors had said that prison time would help to deter hackers from invading the privacy of innocent people on the Internet.
According to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman:
“When it became clear that he was in trouble, he concocted the fiction that he was trying to make the Internet more secure, and that all he did was walk in through an unlocked door… the jury didn’t buy it, and neither did the court in imposing sentence.”
The funny thing is that if it hadn’t of affected the users and only effected the company itself, the guy would have been hired for finding the faults within the system. Much like many people working within the security field, they need to understand how a hacker will work in order to prevent the hacks from happening. David Rice may need to think about that for a few moments before jumping for joy over the court’s ability to sentence hackers.
Okay, but really, David Rice used to work for the NSA, so the ability for him to find more skilled hackers is probably better than finding Auernheimer and his ability to find a back door into people’s personal data.
Prosecutors called Auernheimer a “well-known computer hacker and internet ‘troll’” who with co-defendant Daniel Spitler and the group Goatse Security tried to disrupt online content and services.
The hack was designed to match email addresses with identifiers for iPad users, and of conducting a forceful attack to extract data about those users, who accessed the Internet from the AT&T servers.