AT&T iPad hack discoverer arrested

Last week, hacker Andrew Auernheimer uncovered a flaw at AT&T's website which may have compromised the privacy of thousands of iPad users. This week, he was arrested on drugs charges. From CNET:
Andrew Auernheimer, 24, was being held in Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Ark., according to Lt. Anthony Foster of the Washington County Sheriff's office in that state. The drugs were found during the execution of the warrant, said Lt. Mike Perryman, of the Fayetteville Police Department. However, Perryman could not say what prompted the warrant. ...
What indeed? We're far short of knowing much about the circumstances of his arrest, but if AT&T sent the Feds on a fishing trip out of spite rather than because it had evidence of a crime, it would be perfectly in keeping with its reputation. Also, the fact that Auernheimer's supposedly a racist and an 'unsavory dude' shouldn't make it OK to arrest him on unrelated charges just because. EscherArrest_270x203.pngIf the charges are accurate, though, we might have a learning moment at hand: If one has just publicly exposed the gross incompetence of a major corporation and humiliated its respected partners, perhaps it is time for one to flush the coke. Fascinatingly, it appears Auernheimer is Weev, a source for a 2008 New York Times feature about how horrid internets are. In it, Weev was quoted saying that that posting flashing images to an epileptics' online forum was over the line: "It's hacking peoples unpatched brains. we have to draw a moral line somewhere." Mattathias Schwartz wrote:
Weev, the troll who thought hacking the epilepsy site was immoral, is legendary among trolls. He is said to have jammed the cellphones of daughters of C.E.O.'s and demanded ransom from their fathers; he is also said to have trashed his enemies' credit ratings. Better documented are his repeated assaults on LiveJournal, an online diary site where he himself maintains a personal blog. Working with a group of fellow hackers and trolls, he once obtained access to thousands of user accounts.
(Well spotted, vonnegutlives!) Hacker in AT&T-iPad security case arrested on drug charges [CNET. Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office]


  1. Too bad providing shitty mobile phone service isn’t a crime, ’cause I’d love to see the CEO of AT&T in the slammer.

  2. In America, we have freedom. Any citizen can stand up and speak their mind, even if it embarrasses a major corporation.

    As long as they don’t possess anything in their home that they wouldn’t want seized for inspection by a police officer.

    And as long as they have a few hundred thousand dollars to pay their lawyer during protracted civil and/or criminal legal proceedings.

  3. The war on drugs real purpose revealed: To marginalize / criminalize those in the sector of society most likely to expose the strings of our Corporate Masters and / or do something about our dwindling freedoms. The connections between the telcoms and the covertment has long been established, and they need not hide their actions when most people don’t care or are programmed to approve. We lost our real HOPE with the FISA bill, because when you can eavesdrop on anyone w/o impunity, you’re setup to get the dirt on EVERYONE.


  4. “Hacking peoples unpatched brains” using flashing images sounds exactly like hacking brains using the white-noise images in Snowcrash. Only a lot less silly of an idea.

    I wonder if there are applications epileptics can use that will automatically filter our rapidly flickering images?

  5. Weev!

    That guy is awesome!
    Google him!

    He’s an editor on encyclopedia dramatica, and gave a talk at a hacker con, while high on acid.

    Good work trolling the law-enforcement system, sir!

  6. Considering that this guy has quite a history of pissing off people and breaking the law isn’t it a little premature to throw around the “AT&T CRITICISM LEADS TO ARREST” conspiracy theories?

    1. The fact that the news report can’t determine what prompted the warrant sounds fishy enough for me.

  7. Yeah, because, you know, AT&T aren’t powerful / resourceful / evil enough to pay someone to PLANT the coke.

    1. Then again, as dequeued mentioned, this is the guy who is known to give talks at cons while on LSD and methamphetamines…

  8. I think a lot of people are missing the point.

    Sure, AT&T and Apple have the hate on this guy. But his “hack” involved releasing personal email addresses into the wild. So what, you ask?

    Well, when those emails reportedly included the personal email addresses of Rahm Emanuel, Michael Bloomberg, and numerous other powerful and highly-connected people, you might understand why they’re coming down on him like five tons of elephants.

    I think the rest of it is irrelevant to what’s going down now. Yeah, he’s a sociopath, like hundreds of others on the internet. Yeah, he spouts objectionable rhetoric, like thousands of other people on the internet. But when he personally pisses off people at the top levels of government and industry, he’s much closer to being alone.

    1. “coming down on him like five tons of elephants”

      I thought this was funny, then I was like, wait….that might only be one or two elephants, depending on the species.

      1. We could fix it for libelle with, “coming down on him like five tons of baby elephants” (approx. 250 pounds apiece). But really, it’s still hilarious even with full grown elephants, since you’re almost certain to need a fractional elephant to hit the 5-ton mark, and that’s gonna be messy…..

    2. “I released a semantic integer overflow exploit for Safari through Goatse Security in March– it was patched on Apple’s desktop Safari but has yet to be patched on the iPad. This bug we crafted allows the viewer of a webpage to become a proxy (behind corporate and government firewalls!) for spamming, exploit payloads, password bruteforce attacks and other undesirables. The kicker is that this attack cannot be detected by any current IDS/IPS system. We released this in March, mind you, and Apple still hasn’t got around to patching this on the iPad! I know through personal experience that the patch time for an iPad vulnerability is over two months and counting. Given that, the number of parties which probably have active iPad exploits likely numbers in the hundreds, if not the thousands. The iPad simply is not a safe platform for those that require a secure environment.” – Goatse Security, June 14

    3. OK, so get him on those grounds, not drug charges from a dubious warrant. What if the guy had totally cleaned up and flushed his stash? Who would believe his side of the story after allegedly speaking in public on acid? Do we really want a society where anyone can be jailed / silenced / marginalized for the fact that they are rubbing people in power the wrong way, on unrelated charges? Remember, it’s not what you say or do anymore, it’s what can be found on your person or in your home, regardless of how it got there.

  9. “If one has just publicly exposed the gross incompetence of a major corporation and humiliated its respected partners, perhaps it is time for one to flush the coke.”

    May as well flush the sprite and pepsi too. It’s not like the cops ever accidentally dropped something as they searched…

  10. “If one has just publicly exposed the gross incompetence of a major corporation and humiliated its respected partners, perhaps it is time for one to flush the coke.”

    …because all those random searches and seizures are likely to become a lot less random?

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