Two men who authorities say were competing to impress their fellow hackers were arrested Jan. 18 on federal charges they stole the eMail addresses of more than 100,000 Apple iPad users, including politicians and media personalities, reports the Associated Press. The theft and the AT&T security weakness that made it possible were revealed months ago, and U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said there was no evidence the men used the swiped information for criminal purposes. Authorities cautioned, however, that it could theoretically have wound up in the hands of spammers and scam artists. Daniel Spitler, a 26-year-old bookstore security guard from San Francisco, and Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark., were charged with fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. Fishman said the men and their cohorts were engaged in “malicious one-upsmanship” as they sought to impress each other and others online. “We don’t tolerate committing crimes for street cred,” Fishman said. “Computer hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game.” The stolen eMail addresses, on their own, aren’t that valuable; many of them could easily have been guessed by knowing a person’s name and how his or her organization structures its eMail addresses. But once they knew a person was an iPad owner and an AT&T customer, cyber criminals and spammers could have sent eMails that looked like they came from Apple or AT&T, tricking the recipient into opening them…

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staff and wire services reports