Roughly 6 months ago an alert came out that iPad customers might have a potential exposure issue. At the time, it appeared that a technology company discovered an issue where iPad's were transmitting unique ids that could be matched to email addresses which could create a potential for privacy issues and device compromise. At the time, the technologists said they wanted to report it to Apple so they would fix it.
Apple says they were never contacted.
U.S. Prosecutors have a different point of view of what happened. They charged the two men this week with stealing and distributing email addresses for iPad owners. Roughly 120,000 people were impacted by this. The list of iPad owners included celebrities, company CEOs, military officials, and average consumers.
The investigators have accused the men of using an attack to extract the data. They then had a program that would guess at data about each iPad and match it to information on AT&T servers to match names and emails.
The two men provided the information to Gawker, a gossip website. Gawker published some of the information including that former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, NASA employees, and other government offices were on the list.
"Two charged over iPad hacking on AT&T network", Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, January 18, 2011.
"Two Charged in AT&T Hack of iPad Customer Data", Kim Zetter, Wired, January 18, 2011.