Hackers AntiSec claim FBI is collecting Apple IDs

The FBI denied reports that AntiSec breached an agent's computer to reveal iPhone and iPad user IDs. "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 FBI said in a statement.

But AntiSec said the trove of personal data was part of more than 12 million IDs it nabbed from an FBI agent's laptop.

The alleged data caper marks the latest claims of hacking activism, or hacktivism, from the group associated with hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec. Hackers have made similar claims in the past, some of which were verified and some that were not.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

AntiSec's posting reveals names and user IDs for some but removed other personal data, says Ori Eisen, founder of 41st Parameter, an Internet-fraud-detection firm, who says he saw the leaked files.

The Apple IDs, known as unique device identifiers, can contain such information as the address of the device owner and other data. The unique identifier can be used to track users and target ads. "There's a better way for Apple and the industry to do this," Eisen says. AntiSec said it released some data to draw attention to the FBI's collection and tracking practices.

Orwellian concerns were raised over the FBI's alleged data collection as well as Apple's privacy measures. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said the prospect of such a massive data breach calls for swifter action from Congress to consider legislation requiring more transparency from law enforcement officials on digital data collection. "Law enforcement must protect their servers and computers that contain any personal data about Americans," says Markey. "This report also raises questions about why the FBI had this information in the first place."

Adds Pierluigi Stella, CTO at security firm Network Box: "UDIDs are a problem and have been a focus of hackers for a while. It is truly time that Apple does something about them."


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