The Federal Bureau of Investigation says hacker group Anonymous is lying about retrieving 12 million UDIDs, or the unique identifiers associated with Apple mobile devices, from an agency laptop.
This morning, the hacker collective released one million UDIDs along with usernames, addresses, phone numbers, and other pieces of personal information. It reportedly did this by exploiting a vulnerability in Oracle’s Java, which has been having problems of its own lately, to access a computer allegedly owned by an FBI agent. But the federal agency does not agree.
“The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed,” the FBI said in a statement. “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 agency also tweeted about the incident saying, “Bottom line: TOTALLY FALSE.”
It’s understandable that the FBI would be up in arms about this one. If Anonymous’ story is true, it raises the question as to why an FBI agent would have this many UDIDs on a laptop, and why the data on that laptop wasn’t otherwise secured. It also nods at the growing concern over surveillance of U.S. citizens, a hot topic at conferences like Def Con where one former National Security Agency employee said the majority of us are under watch.
One Anonymous bull horn, AnonymousIRC, tweeted, “You know you’re doing something right if @FBIPressOffice throws caps at you on twitter to deny an #Anonymous statement,” followed by, “What a day. @FBIPressOffice screaming in caps at us while @AdrianChen is wearing a tutu. Really need more of those. #ForTheLulz.”
In its press release regarding the hack, Anonymous said it would not answer any press questions unless Gawker writer Adrian Chen wore a tutu and put a shoe on his head for the Gawker home page. As you can see, he took one for the team.
FBI Image via JLaw45/Flickr
Like this story? Want to learn more? On April 14-15, our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the six biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., to discuss issues like this. Request an invitation.