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“Why does the FBI have your UDID (and 12.4 million more)?” FBI Laptop Hacked…1 million Apple IDS posted online September 4, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in cyberespionage, cybersecurity.
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*UPDATE* It was reported yesterday that the FBI laptop was not, in fact, the source of UUIDs that were hacked.  A company called Blue Toad revealed that it was the source of the stolen ids.  It’s not clear how the data was stolen from Blue Toad or what, if any relationship exists between the company and the laptop that was first identified as the source of the breach.***

According to NBC News, hackers associated with the anti-government group AntiSec have hacked an FBI Agent’s laptop and posted over 1 million Apple Unique Device Identification Number or UDIDs online.   The Apple UDID is used by Apple to determine what applications are running and to lock down the phones, IPads and computers from other applications.  Alone, they do not represent personally identifiable information but However, New Zealand-based security researcher Aldo Cortesi has shown that thanks to disregard of Apple’s security guidelines by iOS game and app developers, it’s possible to determine a user’s identity through an UDID alone.  According to the story:

“The Pastebin post claims that the UDIDs were stolen thanks to an Anonymous hack into the laptop of FBI agent Christopher Stangl, a member of a New York-based cybercrime task force. “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 posting states. “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.”

Why the FBI has such a list of over 12 million UDIDs is an interesting question. Why the list would be on a laptop is another interesting question. To check whether your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch’s UDID might be among those affected, a Unix developer based in Florida has already posted a tool: http://kimosabe.net/test.html

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