Note to AT&T and Apple: If the iPad is going to get cracked, find a way of letting the public know that the accounts of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel are safe and sound.
Note to Apple: Nobody cares if it's AT&T's fault.
Note to AT&T: This isn't going to help with the whole Apple exclusivity thing.
All of those notes relate to a successful attack by a group called Goatse Security that InformationWeek and other sites report compromised the e-mail account information of more than 100,000 iPad users, including those celebrities.
The Atlantic site, which profiled one of the hackers, put the number of comprised accounts at 114,000. As for the profile, let's just say that nobody would want to live next door to "Weev."
The fault in this case seems to ultimately rest with AT&T, and the InformationWeek piece says the issue has been rectified. It is not, however, the first challenge that the hot new device has faced. CrunchGear posts a blog based on a Wall Street Journal report that GWU and Princeton banned the iPad because of network security issues. The post doesn't identify what the issues are, and says work is under way to remediate them. (The post also says Cornell has put the kibosh on the iPad, but not out of security concerns: They were afraid that the kids would use too much bandwidth.)
This is an anonymous security manager's take on iPad security. It's similar to the current glitch: The real culprit isn't the Apple device itself. The security manager explains that he-the site acknowledges that the writer is male through the use of a pronoun -- started investigating how the iPad was integrated into the corporate network after seeing employees using them in the cafeteria. They weren't authorized, and an investigation led to the discovery of a workaround based on a policy misalignment that enabled connection to the network in a manner that could lead to problems. It seems like the kind of issue that could be solved by OpenTrust's Mobile platform. Late last month, the company said that it had been expanded to support the iPad.
The reality is that the iPad and AT&T are under tremendous scrutiny. Any security issue, whether it is the fault of the carrier or the device maker, and whether it was due to targeting by a skilled cracker bent on causing embarrassment, will be costly. Especially if the mayor of New York and a senior advisor to the president are among the potential victims.