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Misplaced Anger: Anonymous Exposes Apple User IDs as Revenge on FBI
The hacktivists steal 12 million Apple user IDs

Anonymous members wearing their trademark Guy Fawkes mask in 2008

AntiSec, a branch of the infamous hacktivist group Anonymous went public with their claim to have stolen 12 million Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), otherwise known as personal Apple User IDs. The claim created headlines while also begging the impending question: “Has the group finally gone too far?” While standing for independent internet freedom the group has simultaneously robbed millions of Apple users of the freedom of anonymity, a right the group claims for themselves to the highest power.

The group has already released 1 million user IDs, this includes private mobile phone numbers, postal codes and addresses. They claim to have stolen the IDs from the laptop of FBI Special Agent Chris K. Stangl. Yet FBI Secure security advisor Sean Sullivan has denied that the group stole the UDIDs from Stangl’s laptop: “I don’t think there is any good evidence to support the claim that this list actually came from the FBI, I personally think it is a PR scam by Anonymous.” 

Sullivan also advised that UDIDs are not safely tucked away in the privacy of the users’ homes. He stated that, “Millions of UDIDs can come from anywhere: a game developer’s server, harvested from Internet traffic, or other app developers.” To check if your UDID has been compromised by the Anonymous hack, or to find out of you’re on the FBI’s watch list click here.

Anonymous says their motive to target the FBI came from the fact that the FBI “Decided to hunt us down and jail our friends.” However, publicly announcing the addresses and phone numbers of Apple users as revenge on the FBI seems like mis-channeled anger. Anonymous claims the FBI has been using UDIDs in order to track people, chalking up the publicly released UDIDs as collateral damage. [via techtalk]


Claudia McNeilly is an editorial intern at the Toronto Standard. You can follow her on twitter at @claudiamcneilly

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