AT&T demonstrated this week that security may not be its strongest point. A band of hackers using some very rudimentary attacks were able to obtain the e-mail addresses and ICC IDs of approximately 114,000 iPad 3G users. Now in the systems meltdown that resulted from the rush to pre-order the iPhone 4 yesterday comes word of another leak of sensitive data by AT&T systems. According to a report on Gizmodo, users fortunate enough to get into AT&T’s systems yesterday to pre-order the new iPhone were often met with the account details of another user. Despite logging in with their unique user name and password, users were shown the data of someone else. This data included addresses, calling history, and bills. There did not seem to be a pattern to the disclosures. In a reply to Gizmodo, AT&T claims they “have been unable to replicate the issue, but the information displayed did not include call-detail records, social security numbers, or credit card information.” That’s great AT&T. You revealed enough information to steal someone’s identity but at least you didn’t give up their social security number.
This is just the latest in a long string of embarrassments and missteps by AT&T. I find myself once again wondering what sway the telecommunications company holds over Apple. What’s keeping Steve Jobs from marching in AT&T’s head office and ripping up the exclusivity contract? Apple would profit so much more at this point by not only moving to Verizon but opening themselves up to all carriers. Will this latest foul-up finally prove to be the end of one of the longest and strangest relationships in technology? It may be hard for people outside the US to understand what the issue is. While the iPhone started out as an exclusive in most countries around the world, Apple has ended those exclusivity contracts long ago. Will AT&T be next? There are a lot of people in America this morning hoping that comes sooner rather than later.
What do you think of this latest security breach? Will it discourage you from upgrading to the iPhone 4? Does it further shake your faith in AT&T? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section.