UPDATE 1-U.S. computer hacker gets 3-1/2 years for stealing iPad user data

Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:55pm EDT
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* Andrew Auernheimer convicted of ID theft, conspiracy

* Data on 120,000 Apple iPad users stolen -prosecutors

* Lawyer says Auernheimer will appeal

By Jonathan Stempel

March 18 (Reuters) - A computer hacker was sentenced on M onday to three years and five months in prison for stealing the personal data of about 120,000 Apple Inc iPad users, including big-city mayors, a TV network news anchor and a Hollywood movie mogul.

Andrew Auernheimer, 27, had been convicted in November by a Newark, New Jersey, jury of one count of conspiracy to access AT&T Inc servers without permission, and one count of identity theft.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark was at the high end of the 33- to 41-month range that the U.S. Department of Justice had sought.

Prosecutors had said prison time would help deter hackers from invading the privacy of innocent people on the Internet.

Among those affected by Auernheimer's activities were ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein, prosecutors said.   Continued...