An Arkansas man has been indicted for carrying out a cyberattack on AT&T servers that resulted in the theft of personal data from more than 100,000 iPad users. Andrew Auernheimer has been charged by a New Jersey grand jury with one count of conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers and one count of identity theft, Reuters reports. Auernheimer’s codefendant Daniel Spitler entered a guilty plea after being charged with the same crimes late last month. Court documents recount several conversations Auernheimer allegedly had surrounding the AT&T breach, and the evidence appears to be damning. “If we get 1 reporters address with this somehow we instantly have a story,” he wrote to Spitler on June 6, 2010, according to the indictment. “HI I STOLE YOUR EMAIL FROM AT&&T WANT TO KNOW HOW?” Auernheimer later continued, “The more email addresses we get … the more of a freakout we can cause.” Both Auernheimer and Spitler are said to be associated with “Goatse Security,” a hacker group reportedly focused on disrupting online content and services. More →
Nearly two and a half months after its networks were breached by the hacker group LulzSec, Sony will finish restoring its PlayStation Network later this week when it reactivates the service in Japan. According to Bloomberg, Sony has been working with the FBI to identify the LulzSec hackers who were responsible for the attack on its San Diego data centers, during which the hackers obtained account information for more than 100 million PlayStation Network users. Reportedly, LulzSec rented and used servers from Amazon.com’s cloud service to facilitate the attack. Sony CEO Howard Stringer apologized after the attacks and offered a year of identity theft protection to those affected by the breach, as well as a free month of access to PSN. More →
Sony has made good on its promise to offer free identity theft protection to customers whose private information was stolen during a major security breach of its PSN and Qriocity networks. If your account was compromised, you just have to provide the email address that was used to register for Qriocity or PSN, and Sony will provide a free activation code for AllClear ID Plus within 72 hours. AllClear ID Plus will offer free ID theft alerts and will help Sony’s customers get in touch with fraud investigators, should the need arise. More →
Speaking to The New York Times in an interview on Tuesday, Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer discussed the company’s recent security breach, and what his firm is doing to make sure such a large scale attack doesn’t happen again. Stringer argued that Sony reported the breach quickly, despite waiting nearly a week to notify its customers that hackers had stolen personal information, including credit card numbers. “We still have a lot of investigation to do to find out how this happened, but we’re not there yet,” Stringer explained. Sony’s corporate executive officer and executive vice president, Kazuo Hirai, said also noted that Sony is working to examine security on “every level of the company … from televisions to eBooks, and onwards.” Sony will create new security positions within the company, and the security employees with be tasked with setting up a “system to avoid this type of event again — putting a new system in place,” Hirai explained. Sony began restoring its PlayStation Network services in the United States last weekend after issuing a firmware update for the PlayStation 3. More →
On its PlayStation Network blog today, Sony gave an official statement on when the PlayStation Network will be back online. The short answer is “at least a few more days.” Sony has also promised that both Qriocity and PSN should be available by May 31, however, so it could take a bit longer, too. Both networks went down after Sony suffered a massive security breach during which hackers stole 12.3 million credit card numbers and compromised personal data from 101 million accounts. “I know you all want to know exactly when the services will be restored,” Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold wrote on Sony’s PSN blog. “At this time, I can’t give you an exact date, as it will likely be at least a few more days. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work through this process.” More →
Sony’s president, chairman, and CEO, Howard Stringer, has issued letter of apology to PlayStation Network, Qriocity, and other Sony users who have been affected by the firm’s massive security breach. “Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we’ve all experienced and on fixing it,” Stringer said. “We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.” A total of 101 million accounts across Sony’s network were compromised and 12.3 million credit card numbers were stolen by hackers. However, Stringer said that there’s currently no evidence that those numbers have been misused and that Sony has issued a $1 million identity theft insurance policy for U.S. PSN and Qriocity customers, with other regions to follow. Hit the jump for more from Stringer’s letter, including information on Sony’s “Welcome Back” package.
Apple once again finds itself the target of criminal activity, though this time the scheme is slightly more elaborate than a small-time smash and grab job. According to court documents filed in the state of New York, dozens of suspects have been charged in association with using thousands of stolen credit card numbers to purchase products from Apple Store locations across the country. The group made fake credit cards with stolen credit card numbers and then used them to purchase Apple laptops, iPhones, iPods and other Apple products. The group’s leader, 28-year-old Shaheed Bilal, allegedly continued to orchestrate the entire operation even while incarcerated from May through December of last year. Bilal had thousands of stolen credit card numbers in his possession and even boasted on Twitter about using stolen cards at restaurants. Records of Bilal’s tweets were referenced by prosecutors at his arraignment on Tuesday. The Apple Store scheme began in May 2009, and the group reportedly purchased over $1 million worth of Apple products using the stolen card numbers. 27 suspects have been charged so far. More →