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Apple denies giving the FBI any user ID data

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Apple denies giving the FBI any user ID data
Earlier this week we posted a fairly disturbing story, wherein the hacker group Antisec released over a million iOS user IDs (UDIDs). Antisec claims to have boosted a total of 12 million UDIDs from an FBI laptop that wasn’t properly secured. They also claimed to have gotten extension personal information from the same database, including zip codes, phone numbers, and even street addresses. Such a huge breach of privacy led many to question Apple’s dedication to protecting its users, especially since UDID security measures have been question in the past.

Today Apple responded to the implied allegations; speaking to the Wall Street Journal Apple denied any involvement with the FBI in this case. According to Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris, the FBI hasn’t even approached Apple, saying "The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization."

Of course Apple isn’t the only source of UDIDs – many popular apps have databases of them as well. Apple discontinued the practice of letting iOS apps send UDID information to their servers, but unless you only recently got into the iOS ecosystem, it probably was too late to prevent your data from appearing in several app databases.

For its part the FBI has thrown some cold water on Antisec’s claims – they say that there is no evidence that any such dataset was stolen, nor that “the FBI either sought or obtained the data.” Of course even if there were such a breach you wouldn’t expect the FBI to compromise their investigation by admitting to it, but it at least remains an open question as to whether the data breach really occurred.

The good news is that Apple has taken measures to reduce this sort of problem in the future – iOS 6 replaces the UDID system, and Apple has indicated they will ban the use of UDIDs shortly after the launch of iOS 6, which will debut with the new iPhone at their press conference next week.

source: WSJ

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21 Comments
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posted on 06 Sep 2012, 10:45 14

1. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Apple involved with the FBI? Not a suprise at all.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 10:46 13

2. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Apple didn't even admit they messed up when you COULDN'T HOLD THE PHONE WITHOUT DROPPING A CALL and you expect them to admit to leaking info to the FBI?

I would be less surprised if Mitt Romney announced he was born a woman.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 10:55 15

3. whencatsruletheworld (Posts: 16; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


"You are leaking it wrong!" -Apple. (sarcasm lol)

Not surprised at all. Apple wants to be right. Apple wants to win. Apple wants others to take the blame. Shame on you, Apple. SHAME ON YOU

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 11:00 1

4. Sniggly (Posts: 7177; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Honestly, I wouldn't expect Apple to actually *be at fault* here, nor would I expect the FBI to have actually asked for such information.

I also expect the FBI to deny the allegation. What I find surprising is that there is a denial that Anonymous has the information at all. Even if the FBI isn't the source of the leak, Anonymous still has it, and has proven it. Security experts agree that the info they released is real.

This is less a case involving Apple and more including the concept that the government is full of assholes.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 11:25 2

6. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4335; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


There was an article yesterday that I tried to sent to PhoneArena.com as a tip saying that an anonymous hacker, hacked in to the FBI & found all this info from Apple devices.

Now how the FBI got their hands on it isn't exactly clear, but it wouldn't surprise me is the FBI was doing some hacking themselves if you get my drift. All I know is that this hacker posted a sample of the info he found on the web.

Looks like a case of the hacker getting hacked. lol

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 11:31 5

8. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


It would surprise me if Apple hadn't shared info with the FBI. As we all know, corporations and the intelligence community have become one and the same, and have been so for a long, long time. On the other hand it is a sad state of affairs that organizations such as Anonymous are our only remaining hope for transparency in our government.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 13:20 1

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4028; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


A comment from Sniggly that I agree with.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 13:43 1

13. Sniggly (Posts: 7177; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


It was bound to happen eventually, despite how hard you try. :p

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 18:15

15. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4028; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


It was hard enough trying. It will not be a repeat occasion.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 18:33

16. Sniggly (Posts: 7177; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Too bad. Believe it or not, I think we'd both be better off if we weren't fighting all the time.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 19:19

17. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4028; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


It was a mutual understanding.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 20:09

18. Sniggly (Posts: 7177; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


What was mutually understood?

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:20

19. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4028; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Your comment.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:39

20. Sniggly (Posts: 7177; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


which one, the one you agreed with originally?

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:30 1

21. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4028; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


It's the only one I agreed with so it must be that one.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 11:12 1

5. Aeires (unregistered)


So Apple didn't give it to the FBI and the FBI didn't obtain if from anyone, yet it was leaked by Antisec.

Queue the Twilight Zone music, data just magically appeared from nowhere.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 11:28 4

7. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


Don't trust Apple security and don"t buy new iPhone your ID will be hand to FBI or CIA but not KBG but you are not safe with Apple.....

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 11:47 1

9. andro. (Posts: 1971; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


As always Apple is telling the truth ;-)

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 11:53

10. tedkord (Posts: 5120; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I doubt the FBI asked for millions. I would bet they've asked for some, and if so, you've got to ask yourself, how much choice would Apple have?

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 12:49

11. downphoenix (Posts: 2378; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Dunno what to think here. Whether the FBI and/or Apple was involved in any wrongdoing here, the outcome doesn't change here. Whether Apple willingly gave the info, was forced, or unknowingly gave it (by being hacked) and whether the FBI requested these records or obtained them themselves, its good to know that Apple will be undoing the UDIDs soon. It wont eliminate people's info being tracked or leaked but it will at least lessen the risk some.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 13:47

14. jibraihimi (Posts: 695; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


And how did you expect Apple or FBI to accept their fault, if they will accept their fault or wrong doings then how will you identify them as Apple or FBI..................

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