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Hackers claim hacking of FBI laptop, post 1 million Apple device IDs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- Hackers belonging to a group which calls itself 'AntiSec' on Tuesday claimed it infiltrated the laptop of an FBI agent in New York and stole a file containing some personal information and identification numbers for more than 12 million Apple products.

A post on the text-sharing website Pastebin said 'Anonymous' affiliate AntiSec hacked the laptop of FBI agent Christopher Stangl during the second week of March 2012 by using a vulnerability in the computer's Java software. The group said it downloaded a CSV file which turned out to be a list of 12,367,232 unique device identifiers (UDIDs) for Apple devices.

AntiSec said the file also contained some user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zip codes, cellphone numbers, addresses and other personal details. But the hackers acknowledged that the personal details fields were often empty, leaving the list incomplete.

To demonstrate it has the information, AntiSec released more than 1 million of the Apple numbers. "We will probably see their damage control teams going hard lobbying media with bullshits to discredit this, but well, whatever, at least we tried and eventually, looking at the massive number of devices concerned, someone should care about it," the group said in its statement.

It added: "Also we think it's the right moment to release this knowing that Apple is looking for alternatives for those UDID currently and since a while blocked axx to it, but well, in this case it's too late for those concerned owners on the list. We always thought it was a really bad idea. that hardware coded IDs for devices concept should be eradicated from any device on the market in the future."

Soon after the release of the data, the FBI's official Twitter account denied that the agency has this information. "Statement soon on reports that one of our laptops with personal info was hacked. We never had info in question. Bottom Line: TOTALLY FALSE," the tweet said.

An FBI spokesman later emailed a brief statement. "The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed," he said. "At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data."

The leak raised questions online why the FBI would be in possession of such data. "No other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose," AntiSec said in its statement. The group said it believes the data is for an FBI "tracking people project" and suggested the Apple devices are being tracked, but AntiSec provided no evidence to support that claim.

Technology security experts described the breach as serious but said the information will not allow hackers to break into peoples' iPhones.

(Copyright 2012 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

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