A million Apple device ID numbers leaked, taken from FBI’s hands says AntiSec hackers group
These numbers where alledgedly taken from a database that also had people’s other personal information on it and were only part of a total of about 12 million of such user device Ids (UDIDs), featuring 40-digit device identifiers that are set by Apple and stay with the gadget forever.
The hackers’ group claims that some identifiers were tied to full names, cellphone numbers and other information, while others weren’t associated with as much data. The leaked file contains the ID numbers, the gadget’s name and a code that allows developers to push notifications to the device.
What is really disturbing is that Antisec claims it took the data from the computer of an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (which the FBI denies). In that case it would not be clear why the FBI would want to have access to all these identifiers and what surveillance purpose it would serve or how it would have compiled the information in the first place. This could raise again the debate about electronics and privacy issues and the right to control our own data.
A Wall Street Journal study in 2010 found that more than half of the apps studied transmitted some sort of unique device ID to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. These identifiers by themselves aren’t all that important but they are often associated with personal information such as a user name and social-networking account, which often makes it possible to identify the users by cross-examination.