FBI was NOT source of leaked data on 12 million Apple users, claims publishing firm boss who says they were hacked

Read Time:3 Minute, 45 Second
  • Hackers said they had exposed Big Brother snooping  operation run by FBI

  • But Paul  DeHart, CEO of the Blue Toad agency, claims details on computer users was stolen  from his servers


By Tom Gardner

PUBLISHED:16:37 EST, 10  September 2012| UPDATED:17:13 EST, 10 September 2012

For conspiracy theorists, it had been yet  more proof of the existence of a sinister Government agency tracking their every  move.

But now a claim that hackers had managed to  penetrate a top secret dossier used by FBI agents to spy on Apple users appears  to have been proven unfounded.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had been  the centre of a major privacy row after cyber experts from The  AntiSec hacking group released more than  a million Apple device IDs – allegedly taken from an agent’s laptop.

Hackers claimed to have obtained more than 12 million ID codes Apple uses to identify its gadgets from an FBI agent's laptopHackers claimed to have obtained more than 12 million ID  codes Apple uses to identify its gadgets from an FBI agent’s laptop


The group claimed the information – which included 12 million IDs, known as  Unique Device Identifiers, as well as personal information such as user names, device names, notification tokens, cell phone numbers and addresses – enabled the Government to spy on the  users.

The FBI immediately denied it was the source – but many refused to believe it was anything other than affirmation of their  Orwellian nightmares.

However, a boss of a small publishing agency  has come forward to say his firm was the most likely source of  the information – not a murky, malign Government agency.

Paul DeHart, CEO of the Blue Toad,  which  provides app building services to 6,000 users and serves  100million page views  a month, told NBC  News technicians had matched  the  hacked information with their own private data.

He said: ‘That’s 100 percent confidence  level, it’s our data.’

He added: ‘As soon as we found out we were  involved and victimised, we approached the appropriate law  enforcement  officials, and we began to take steps to come forward, clear the record and take  responsibility for this.’

AntiSec last week released a million of  unique IDs online – but removed the most personal data.

The hackers issued a statement saying:  ‘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.

The move comes as Apple is believed to be putting the finishing touches to a launch event for a new version of its iPhoneThe move comes as Apple is believed to be putting the  finishing touches to a launch event for a new version of its iPhone

‘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.

It had been thought the group published the  numbers to prove the existence of a unit in the FBI which was track people via  their computer identification data.

The Antisec group has made the files freely  available online.

‘There you have 1,000,001 Apple Devices UDIDs  linking to their users and their APNS tokens,’ it said.

‘The original file contained around  12,000,000 devices. we decided a million would be enough to release.

‘We trimmed out other personal data as, full  names, cell numbers, addresses, zipcodes, etc.

‘Not all devices have the same amount of  personal data linked, some devices contained lot of info, others no more than  zipcodes or almost anything.

‘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.’

The group also defended its decision to  release the data.

‘well we have learnt it seems quite clear  nobody pays attention if you just come and say ‘hey, FBI is using your device  details and info.

‘So without even being sure if the current  choice will guarantee that people will pay attention to this

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2201287/Hackers-post-details-MILLION-Apple-ID-codes-claim-taken-FBI.html#ixzz267SjD0RD

Categories: Health Technology News

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