NEW YORK (
have elevated the great
to an even higher level of absurdity, if that's possible.
Ma Bell upped the rhetoric Sunday in an apology to iPad users that blamed "malicious" hackers for the chilling invasion of privacy and, of course, said it was working with the authorities to "prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law."
To be sure, eyes will roll over this high profile fiasco.
Recall last week that Goatse notified AT&T that the iPad user login page was vulnerable and could be fooled into divulging the email address of its subscribers. AT&T promptly shut down the privacy spill by limiting access to users who now provide both an email and password to log in.
Brilliant, if not self-incriminating.
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But by Friday, all the hot blowback seemed to have run out of fuel after AT&T and Goatse made it clear that none of the world's media-elite iPad owners actually had their privacy compromised.
But AT&T obviously felt it had to come out swinging, if for no other reason than to deflect blame and perhaps save face as Apple weighs its options with telco partnerships. The inevitability of the
for example, tends to loom large during these many moments of Ma Bell blunders.
Not only did AT&T call Goatse's security alert malicious, it may have insulted the so-called hacker's creed by accusing the code writers of "going to great effort" to break in and "capture customer email addresses."
In a response to what it called a public crucifixion effort by AT&T, Goatse representative Escher Auernheimer emphasized that on the contrary, the email scraping technique was simple, therefore highly vulnerable.
"I'll tell you this," he wrote in response, sounding like he was flicking lint off his shoulder. "The finder of the AT&T email leak spent just over a single hour of labor total."
So AT&T is effectively shouting that the evil goat is loose, but maybe that's because it knows who left the gate open.
--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.