AT&T Hacker Wins Appeal Against Conviction
Published on: 13th Apr 2014
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
A US court has overturned the conviction of a man who had been jailed for stealing the information of around 100,000 iPad users on the AT&T network.
The controversial court case against Andrew Auernheimer was thrown out by a federal appeals court, although less due to the acts themselves than a technicality about which court should have heard the original prosecution.
"The improper venue here - far from where he performed any of his allegedly criminal acts - denied Auernheimer's substantial right to be tried in the place where his alleged crime was committed," the court wrote.
At the time he hacked into the AT&T servers, Auernheimer was living in Arkansas, but the court trial took place in New Jersey, where some of the affected customers lived.
He was convicted and sentenced to 41 months in jail for identity theft and conspiracy.
He had found that a security flaw existed in the AT&T website that made it easy to extract the customer account details of iPad users simply by entering random serial numbers into the webform.
His conviction was controversial as he argued that he was providing a public service in releasing the list of email addresses to the Gawker website, although he was criticized by some activists for not following best practice when uncovering security holes in websites.
He is expected to be released from jail, pending further appeals, and a possible retrial in a different court.