US wireless carrier AT&T has blamed a company of self-styled "hackers", Goatse Security, for an e-mail leak that exposed the personal data of over 100,000 US iPad 3G users, including top-ranking officials at the White House.
In an e-mailed apology to all affected users, AT&T said it was sorry for the security lapse that led to the incident, blaming "computer hackers" who "maliciously exploited" a function implemented by the company in order to speed up the iPad log-in process.
Dorothy Attwood, AT&T's chief privacy officer, explained that the security group, Goatse Security, had deliberately created a software code that extracted email addresses and integrated circuit card identification (ICC-ID) from AT&T's network.
She argued that “The hackers deliberately went to great efforts with a random program to extract possible ICC-IDs and capture customer e-mail addresses. They then put together a list of these e-mails and distributed it for their own publicity.”