CNET: Hacker in AT&T-iPad security case arrested on drug charges
by Elinor Mills
A hacker in a group that discovered the AT&T iPad-related flaw was arrested following the execution of an FBI search warrant of his home in Arkansas on Tuesday, authorities told CNET.
Andrew Auernheimer, 24, was being held in Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Ark., according to Lt. Anthony Foster of the Washington County Sheriff's office in that state. The drugs were found during the execution of the warrant, said Lt. Mike Perryman, of the Fayetteville Police Department. However, Perryman could not say what prompted the warrant.
Auernheimer, who goes by the name "Escher" and the hacker handle "Weev," faces four felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor possession charge, Foster said. The drugs included cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals, he said.
In March, Auernheimer was arrested for allegedly giving a fake name to law enforcement officers responding to a parking complaint in Fayetteville, Perryman said.
Auernheimer is a key member of the Goatse Security group that discovered the security weakness in an AT&T Web site for iPad users last week. AT&T criticized the hackers for disclosing the flaw, but Auernheimer told CNET that his group waited until AT&T had fixed the problem before going public and did so to help consumers protect themselves.
AT&T had vowed in a letter sent last week to iPad owners to assist in the investigation and prosecution of any illegal activity related to the AT&T Web site breach, but it's unknown if the FBI warrant was related that statement.
No bond or court date had been set, but a hearing is scheduled for June 18 in Washington County Circuit Court, Foster said.
In case the username weev doesn't ring a bell, he was one of the featured subjects of the New York Times article on trolls and trolling in August 2008.
The Trolls Among Us
I first met Weev in an online chat room that I visited while staying at Fortuny’s house. “I hack, I ruin, I make piles of money,” he boasted. “I make people afraid for their lives.” On the phone that night, Weev displayed a misanthropy far harsher than Fortuny’s. “Trolling is basically Internet eugenics,” he said, his voice pitching up like a jet engine on the runway. “I want everyone off the Internet. Bloggers are filth. They need to be destroyed. Blogging gives the illusion of participation to a bunch of retards. . . . We need to put these people in the oven!”
I listened for a few more minutes as Weev held forth on the Federal Reserve and about Jews. Unlike Fortuny, he made no attempt to reconcile his trolling with conventional social norms. Two days later, I flew to Los Angeles and met Weev at a train station in Fullerton, a sleepy bungalow town folded into the vast Orange County grid. He is in his early 20s with full lips, darting eyes and a nest of hair falling back from his temples. He has a way of leaning in as he makes a point, inviting you to share what might or might not be a joke.
As we walked through Fullerton’s downtown, Weev told me about his day — he’d lost $10,000 on the commodities market, he claimed — and summarized his philosophy of “global ruin.” “We are headed for a Malthusian crisis,” he said, with professorial confidence. “Plankton levels are dropping. Bees are dying. There are tortilla riots in Mexico, the highest wheat prices in 30-odd years.” He paused. “The question we have to answer is: How do we kill four of the world’s six billion people in the most just way possible?” He seemed excited to have said this aloud.
Nice guy, isn't he? *snort*
As if that weren't enough, he's also affiliated with Encyclopedia Dramatica, where the current "Article of the Now" blurb on the front page discusses the hack and subsequent bust in typical ED style, and the ED Government page lists him as "Pope Weev" under the "Theocratic Branch." I've also run into reports that he's also Joseph Evers, the President and CEO of Encyclopedia Dramatica.