Exclusive: AT&T Hacker's Last Bid To Stay Out of Prison

Illustration for article titled Exclusive: ATT Hackers Last Bid To Stay Out of Prison

Three years ago, Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer exploited an AT&T security hole to release over 100,000 customer email addresses. Today, he faces a prison sentence. Gizmodo has obtained a copy of his pre-sentence memo—a plea against hard time.

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In the memo, filed earlier today, Weev and his legal team argue that instead of years behind bars, he should receive only six months of probation for exposing AT&T's shoddy walls, rather than prison for busting them down. You can read the statement in its entirety, to be presented to Weev's judge before his formal sentencing next week, but the gist is simple: he's not really a hacker. At least for the court's purposes. Weev contends that AT&T's iPad security problems were so severe that no "sophisticated means" or "special skill" was required to break those email addresses free—essentially, that he walked into an open door, rather than picking any lock, causing no harm to anything but AT&T's ego. The memo even includes a damning internal email from AT&T investigators saying Weev "circumvented no security," and took advantage of a "poorly designed" aspect of the iPad—"I just don't see it," one laments. The larger fear was that not only did AT&T have no case, but that pursuing Weev would only trigger the lulzy ire of his 4chan followers.

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Weev's defense team also dismisses AT&T's complaint that the company suffered financially as a result of the break-in—Weev's lawyers say that because the email leak posed no actual security threat, and so sending paper notices to 100,000+ customers was "superfluous" and the monetary loss is their fault.

Do you agree? Chime in below. But all that matters is if a judge agrees on March 18th. For more of Weev's side of the story—not an unbiased source by any means—you can read up here.

We've reached out to AT&T for comment on the memo.

U.S. v. Auernheimer Def. Sentencing Memo

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DISCUSSION

If he had walked in, found the emails and then told AT&T about the holes, I'd say no jail time.

But he took peoples email addresses and published them, without permission.

At the time he released the emails, he didn't care about exposing a security flaw to AT&T. That's proven by his failure to contact AT&T.

No, he released the emails for the laughs. I'm sorry, but that's malicious intent, and it does deserve jail time.

I don't think he deserves a lot, mind you. Something like 90 days with 60 suspended for 24 months. #0 days in jail isn't enough to ruin his life, but it is enough to teach him the difference between right and douche.