Apple denies giving device IDs to FBI

Apple said Wednesday that it has not provided identification numbers for its devices to the FBI, breaking its silence after a hacker group claimed that it accessed more than 12 million unique device identifiers (UDID) for Apple devices on a compromised FBI laptop.

A spokeswoman for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said the FBI has not requested this type of information from Apple and it will soon ban the use of UDIDs, or the unique string of letters and numbers assigned to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

{mosads}“The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told The Hill. “Additionally, with iOS 6 we introduced a new set of APIs meant to replace the use of the UDID and will soon be banning the use of UDID.”

AllThingsD first reported that Apple denied providing device ID information to the FBI.

AntiSec, which is associated with the hacker collective Anonymous, claimed earlier this week that it hacked into an FBI agent’s laptop and accessed a list of more than 12 million Apple UDIDs and personal information related to those devices. The hackers suggested that the FBI was collecting the device information for a tracking project or other suspicious purpose.

The FBI called AntiSec’s claims “totally false” on Tuesday, saying there was no evidence indicating that a laptop was breached and the bureau hadn’t procured this device information.

The denials from Apple and the FBI raise questions about the original source of the hack, and where AntiSec obtained this list of device information. The hacked computer file where AntiSec said it found the more than 12 million device IDs was titled “NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv.” The AP reported that NCFTA refers to the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance, a nonprofit group set up for experts from the public and private sectors to share information about cyber threats.

In a post on Pastebin published on Monday, AntiSec claimed to have released 1 million of the Apple UDIDs that it allegedly accessed from the breached FBI laptop and said it stripped out personal data from them, such as full names, mobile numbers and zip codes.


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