FBI Contacts Gawker Over Apple iPad E-Mail Leak

The FBI has reached out to Gawker Media as part of its investigation into the AT&T data leak and requested the company hold on to potential evidence in the case. Gawker was the first to publish details of the incident, in which a hole in the AT&T Website was exploited to reveal e-mail addresses belonging to owners of Apple iPad 3G devices.

The FBI has reached out to Gawker Media to preserve potential evidence related to the investigation of a leak of e-mail addresses belonging Apple iPad 3G owners.

According to Gawker, which broke the news of the AT&T data leak that exposed 114,000 iPad owners' e-mail addresses, the FBI contacted it and issued a formal "preservation notice." The FBI investigation is the latest foil in the case that received public attention when Goatse Security contacted Gawker and provided it with e-mail addresses and proof of its successful exploit.

According to Goatse Security, one of its analysts used a script on AT&T's Website to get an AT&T Web server to cough up details of the e-mail addresses. Some of the addresses belonged to prominent executives and high-profile individuals such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Others belonged to military personnel.

Goatse Security has denied wrongdoing, stating via blog post that the analyst responsible for discovering the situation verified the hole was closed before going to Gawker with the data set and details of the attack. All data was gathered from a public Web server with no password that was accessible by anyone on the Internet, the group contended.

"This disclosure needed to be made," the group wrote June 10. "iPad 3G users had the right to know that their e-mail addresses were potentially public knowledge so they could take steps to mitigate the issue (like changing their e-mail address)."