Another blow was dealt to the authorities by a group of hackers linked to Anonymous that claims to have breached FBI security posting 1 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs). The UDIDs are the string of numbers that uniquely identifies each Apple device, and AntiSec hacker group has announced to have leaked more than 12 million UDIDs including user’s information managed by an FBI agent.
In a first time the group has released a list containing only 1 million users. The original file has 12 million users’ information, but hasn’t been released yet.
First reflection that must be done is that FBI, such as many other agencies, has detailed information on Apple’s users and their devices.
Are law enforcement monitoring Apple devices on large scale?
The hackers have posted on Pastbin the description of how they have obtained the precious information from the laptop of the FBI Agent.
“During the second week of March 2012, a Dell Vostro notebook, used by Supervisor Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl from FBI Regional Cyber Action Team and New York FBI Office Evidence Response Team was breached using the AtomicReferenceArray vulnerability on Java, during the shell session some files were downloaded from his Desktop folder one of them with the name of “NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv” turned to be a list of 12,367,232 Apple iOS devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone numbers, addresses, etc. the personal details fields referring to people appears many times empty leaving the whole list incompleted on many parts. no other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose.”
The group attacked FBI accusing the law enforcement to track UDIDs for nefarious purposes, such as user monitoring, they expressed all disappointment on the hard coding of Apple devices.
“we always thought it was a really bad idea. that hardware coded IDs for devices concept should be erradicated from any device on the market in the future.”
The group of hackers also declared that they provided the data without filtering to make to help owners to verify if their mobile was in the list
“we left those main columns we consider enough to help a significant amount of users to look if their devices are listed there or not. the DevTokens are included for those mobile hackers who could figure out some use from the dataset.”
Many users are now worried regarding the possibility that their Apple device is included in the list tracked units of FBI and leaked by Anonymous, to check if your device is one of them just input your UDID/UUID into the form present at the following link.
I do not know if I’m amazed that an FBI laptop is so vulnerable and that its data aren’t encrypted or of the fact that the FBI is tracing the Apple devices.
Neither of course.
We all know that President Obama is an Apple user … he met Jobs in several occasions, so also the PResident has its UDID linked to his iPad. According PasteHTML the Obama’s UDID is one of the leaked codes, it is 473d6e1ebf0b100ed172ce5f69c97ba6c8f12ad5 and its name is“hobamain” which might be a mash-up of his middle name, “Hussein” with his last name.
The have no certainty that it is really the Obama’s iPad, but it’s clear that in that case is normal that a presidential device is under control.
Despite many rumors suggested Apple had given or been forced to hand over the codes to law enforcement Apple has announced that it did not give the FBI any device identity codes of its iPhone and iPad users.
The FBI declared that there was “no evidence” to demonstrate the data had been stolen from one of its computers. The FBI released a statement late on Monday September 3rd, which said:
“The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed. At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.”