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— A man embroiled in a recent security breach of an AT&T website related to Apple iPads was arrested Tuesday on drug charges in Fayetteville after FBI agents searched his home.

Andrew Auernheimer, 24, of 505 N. Shady Ave. faces four felony charges and one misdemeanor charge in connection with possession of a controlled substance.

Andrew Auernheimer

Fayetteville police assisted FBI agents in searching Auernheimer’s home about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police reportedly seized less than half a gram of cocaine, one suspected Ecstasy pill, one oxycodone pill and 19 tabs of suspected LSD from Auernheimer’s upstairs bedroom. Auernheimer admitted to possessing the drugs and helped police identify them.

The website breach investigation is being done in New York. Brian Travers, the New York FBI’s spokesman, would not say what prompted Tuesday’s search or the agency’s pursuit of a warrant allowing it. He also declined comment on the investigation.

Multiple media sources reported Auernheimer, who goes by the name “Escher,” is a key member of Goatse Security. That group is believed to have exploited a security weakness in an AT&T website for Apple iPad users and used it to capture the email addresses of more than 100,000 iPad users. Among those whose email accounts were discovered were reportedly White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to published reports.

On its website, the group defended its actions, saying it was doing a public service by exposing the security weakness.

AT&T criticized the group for disclosing the security issue.

The FBI has since initiated an investigation into the security breach.

Fayetteville Police Cpl. Kevin Phillips said police arrested Auernheimer in March on a charge of obstructing governmental operations.

“He gave a false name while getting a parking ticket,” Phillips said.

Auernheimer was in the Washington County Detention Center on a $3,160 bond Wednesday. He’s expected to make his next appearance in Washington County Circuit Court on Friday.


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