Hacker in AT&T-iPad security case arrested on drug charges
A man whose group disclosed flaw in AT&T's Web site is arrested on felony and misdemeanor drug possession charges as result of FBI search, authorities say.
Elinor MillsFormer Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
A hacker in a group that discovered the AT&T iPad-related flaw was arrested following the execution of an FBI search warrant of his home in Arkansas on Tuesday, authorities told 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.
Auernheimer, who goes by the name "Escher" and the hacker handle "Weev," faces four felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor possession charge, Foster said. The drugs included cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals, he said.
In March, Auernheimer was arrested for allegedly giving a fake name to law enforcement officers responding to a parking complaint in Fayetteville, Perryman said.
Auernheimer is a key member of the Goatse Security group that discovered the security weakness in an AT&T Web site for iPad users last week. AT&T criticized the hackers for disclosing the flaw, but Auernheimer told CNET that his group waited until AT&T had fixed the problem before going public and did so to help consumers protect themselves.
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, but it's unknown if the FBI warrant was related that statement.
No bond or court date had been set, but a hearing is scheduled for June 18 in Washington County Circuit Court, Foster said.
Updated 5:08 p.m. PDT with information about the FBI search warrant.