FBI not hacked: theft of Apple serial numbers cleared up


The app developer Blue Toad confirmed to the station NBC on Monday that the collection of the so-called Unique Device Identifier (UDID) came from its databases. The data had been stolen in the past two weeks. This contradicts the presentation of the hacker collective AntiSec, it downloaded the UDID numbers in March from the computer of an FBI agent.

Last week, Antisec published around a million records with serial numbers of iPhones and iPads, and some additional information. They were therefore part of a larger collection of about twelve million numbers. The FBI quickly refused to collect the data. Also, nothing is known about a break in one of the FBI computers. Apple also stated that they had not given the US Federal Police UDID numbers.

The serial numbers of iOS devices such as the iPhone and the iPad were formerly used by program developers to identify individual devices and to prevent mass copying of their apps. In addition, ad networks used these UDID numbers. Apple has been denying programs since February, which continue to query the device ID.


Blue Toad, a developer of apps for publishers, now wants to let users notify users. CEO Paul DeHart emphasized that the published information is hardly dangerous for users. "The UDID numbers alone do no harm, as far as we know, " he told NBC.

The incident should nonetheless fuel the discussion about data security among app developers. In conjunction with other data, you can basically use the UDID numbers to track which apps a person uses or where they are. An Apple spokeswoman said, "Developers do not have access to customer account information, passwords, or credit card information unless a user submits it to the developer."

Blue Toad had been alerted by a security expert. He had found references to the company in the published data. A review of the server then confirmed the burglary. AntiSec, which is attributed to the Anonymous movement, had accused the FBI of having collected data from mobile users on a large scale.

Now a journalist of the American gossip blogs Gawker, Adrian Chen, may feel smeared. AntiSec had set the strange condition for all further information that he would be photographed in a pink ballet dress with a shoe on his head. Chen did that - but the further information was missing. And now the whole FBI theory seems to be refuted. (Dpa / tc)