The FBI has launched an investigation into allegations of a security breach inside Apple's iPad tablet computers.
Investigators confirm that the FBI "is aware of these possible computer intrusions and has opened an investigation to address the potential cyber threat," says Supervisory Special Agent Katherine Schweit, Public Information Officer, for the agency.
The FBI's involvement follows AT&T's admission that a security flaw had been discovered, addressed, and patched as of Tuesday. An independent security firm, Goatse, discovered that it could identify the email addresses of iPad 3G owners when they registered their devices with AT&T. The firm claimed that 114,000 instances of email identification had already taken place, and that some of those customer affected were in the military, worked for the Pentagon, and even had offices inside the White House. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was reported to have been a victim.
Security experts say only email addresses were compromised, but there's a concern that more robust attacks using the loophole could yield other private data. Though the chances, some experts say of that happening, are remote.
Apple isn't commenting, but the development is a serious public relations black eye for AT&T. And while AT&T says the situation was "escalated to the highest priority" at the company, the FBI's involvement takes all this to an entirely different level.
Apple and the iPad might merely be collateral damage to AT&T's apparent carelessness, but it's something Apple will have to deal with nonetheless, on one of the hottest-selling products in Apple's history. Steve Jobs said earlier this week that Apple was selling a new iPad every three seconds since it was launched two months ago.
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