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(Image courtesy of Gizmodo)
Tuesday was admittedly a crazy day for both Apple and AT&T, as pent-up demand for the iPhone 4 crushed both companies’ servers and even sent the telco’s retail outlets to pen and paper to collect pre-orders. One more sinister element of the day’s insanity is the rumored security breaches on AT&T’s website, which the company is now said to be looking into.
AppleInsider is reporting that AT&T is taking claims on Tuesday that customer data was being exposed during the iPhone 4 pre-order melee very seriously. The issue occurred at the height of the pre-order meltdown, as customers tried to log into their online account on AT&T’s website only to see another person’s name and information when they attempted to pre-order the iPhone 4.
It would be putting it mildly to say that AT&T’s servers failed on Tuesday, particularly for existing iPhone users trying to pre-order an iPhone 4 from either the telco or Apple.com. A major part of the order process is to verify customer eligibility for an upgrade so the shopping cart knows the correct price to charge for the update, but most potential customers kept seeing a wide variety of timeouts or worse yet, the site going down completely for a period of time. (We first attempted to pre-order an iPhone 4 at 8 am EST from Apple.com and weren’t successful after numerous attempts until almost 12 hours later!)
While not being able to place a pre-order is frustrating enough, AT&T may have real trouble on its hands if the rumors of a security breach are true. At first AT&T seemed to brush off the reports, claiming they couldn’t duplicate the problem at their end -- but they seem to be taking it more seriously now, especially in light of the recent iPad 3G security breach.
"We have received reports of customers inadvertently seeing the wrong account information during the iPhone 4 purchasing process," an AT&T company spokesperson said. "We have been unable to replicate the issue, but the information displayed did not include call-detail records, social security numbers, or credit card information. In the meantime, we are looking into this matter."
An anonymous AT&T insider has reported to Gizmodo that an allegedly “faulty server software update” could be at the root of the telco’s online troubles, and they now have evidence that credit card and other personal data may, in fact, have also been exposed during yesterday’s meltdown.
In the meantime, Boy Genius Report is claiming that the company has clamped down on pre-orders for both the iPhone 4 and the refreshed iPhone 3GS 8GB model, which includes new activations, upgrades and exchanges. Hope you got your order in yesterday, because it looks like the iPhone apocalypse isn’t over yet…
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter