iPad "hacker" arrested on drugs charges

The man who made the grave mistake of proving that the AT&T and Apple alliance had exposed user’s personal data to the world has been mysteriously arrested on drugs charges.

AT&T went on the attack after the Goatse Security group announced the iPad-related flaw last week claiming the group was very naughty as everyone knew that Apple gear was more secure than Windows.

In a case which mirrors the recent Gizmodo situation, FBI people gained a warrant to search the house of Andrew Auernheimer, 24, who alerted the world to the iPad flaw.

Quite what they were looking for was anyone’s guess. Apple and AT&T were the only one’s who felt that he had not done the world a favour.

However according to CNET, the Feds searching his home found drugs and arrested him. He now faces four felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanour possession charge, Foster said. The drugs included cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals.

Coppers pointed out that in March, Auernheimer was arrested for giving a fake name to law enforcement officers responding to a parking complaint in Fayetteville.

However last week AT&T had vowed in a letter sent last week to iPad owners to assist in the investigation and prosecution of any illegal activity related to the AT&T Web site breach.

At the time we thought that AT&T would be protecting customers from having their personal data being used. Now it seems that it meant it would be reporting the case to the FBI.  No one knows this of course, the FBI might have  decided to do a search for drugs at Auernheimer’s place and the fact that he angered two big IT companies a week before might have just been a coincidence.

The Auernheimer case does cause the hacker community some problems. AT&T, being a telco, is probably not aware of the symbiotic relationship that exists between hackers and the software makers. Hackers who find security flaws report them to the software companies which fix them. The hackers then make a name for themselves reporting the hole they have found. The software makers win because it means that they are seen as fixing security problems and users often have to upgrade. The hackers get an ego stroke and a pat on the back for being jolly clever.

However hackers are going to be less likely to report them sensibly if they know the company is going to report them to the cops who will search their houses looking for evidence of criminal activity.

Either that or they will hide their stashes off site after reporting a flaw. 

However this is the second time in as many months that government funded law enforcement have featured in an Apple related story.  The other time, a journalist’s house was searched because Apple claimed that an iPhone prototype had been stolen, when it was sitting in Apple’s headquarters.