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Article posted: 9/8/2012 6:14 AM

Hackers obtain millions of Apple users' info from FBI laptop

The hacker group AntiSec claims the FBI has compiled a database of 12 million Apple UDIDs — the unique numbers that identify every Apple device, including iPhones and iPads — many of them complete with the device owner’s personal information.

The hacker group AntiSec claims the FBI has compiled a database of 12 million Apple UDIDs -- the unique numbers that identify every Apple device, including iPhones and iPads -- many of them complete with the device owner's personal information.

 

Bloomberg News/File

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By Will Oremus, Slate

The hacker group AntiSec claims the FBI has compiled a database of 12 million Apple UDIDs -- the unique numbers that identify every Apple device, including iPhones and iPads -- many of them complete with the device owner's personal information.

To prove it, the Anonymous-affiliated group published one million of the IDs, along with the type (e.g. iPhone) and name (e.g. Jane Doe's iPhone) of each device. In a post accompanying the data dump, the group says it withheld other personally identifying information, including names, mobile phone numbers and addresses. There's no indication that bank account numbers or passwords were included.

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The group suspects the FBI was using, or planned to use, the information to track Apple users. The FBI has yet to comment on the apparent breach, and it's unclear how it obtained the Apple IDs.

In a twist, the agent whose laptop AntiSec claims to have hacked appeared in a 2009 FBI recruiting video, urging hackers to join the bureau as cybersecurity experts. To AntiSec, which views cybersecurity experts as, essentially, tools of The Man, that makes him an ideal target.

Meanwhile, some security researchers are pouncing on Apple for hard-coding unique identifiers onto every device in the first place.

Wondering whether your device was among those compromised? The Next Web has built a quick tool (http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/09/04/heres-check-apple-device-udid-compromised-antisec-leak/ ) that lets you check whether your UDID matches any of the one million that AntiSec included in its data dump. The Next Web assures users that it isn't storing the numbers they enter. Even if yours isn't a match, it could still theoretically be among the other 11 million that AntiSec says it has but didn't publish.

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