Charges Filed in AT&T iPad Breach: Report

AT&T/iPad breach story updated with comments from U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Federal prosecutors have filed charges against two men following last year's alleged security breach of AT&T's ( T) network that exposed personal data of Apple ( AAPL) iPad users.

Reuters reports that Daniel Spitler and Andrew Auernheimer have been charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization.
AT&T

The charges, according to Reuters, come seven months after a group calling itself Goatse Security said that it hacked into AT&T's servers after identifying a loophole. Personal data on some 120,000 iPad users was exposed.

Federal prosecutors allege that Spitler and Auernheimer are both members of the Goatse Security group and added that instant messages link the two men to the data breach.

"During the data breach, Spitler and Auernheimer communicated with one another using Internet Relay Chat," said officials in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. "Those chats not only demonstratethat Spitler and Auernheimer were responsible for the data breach, but also that they conducted the breach to simultaneously damage AT&T and promote themselves and Goatse Security."

"Hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breachesare not a game," said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, in the statement. "Those who use technological expertise for malicious purposes take note: your activities in cyberspace can have serious consequences for you in the real world."

AT&T told TheStreet that it will issue a statement on Tuesday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Apple declined to provide comment.

Goatse has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Shares of AT&T slipped 10 cents, or 0.35%, to $28.33 Tuesday afternoon.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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