Anonymous hacking operation AntiSec released the unique identifiers of more than 1 million Apple devices that it claims were obtained by hacking an FBI agent's laptop, The Next Web reports.
"We decided we'd help out Internet security by auditing FBI first," AntiSec wrote. "We have learnt it seems quite clear nobody pays attention if you just come out and say 'hey, FBI is using your device details' ... sorry, but nobody will care."
The group says it hacked the laptop of FBI cybersecurity agent Christopher K. Stangl in March and found a folder called "NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv," which contained detailed information on more than 12 million Apple devices, including user names, cellphone numbers, addresses, and Unique Device Identifiers. The UDIDs are 40-character signatures that are hard-coded into Apple mobile products--iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches--which third parties such as apps use to track user behavior.
12,000,000 identified and tracked iOS devices. thanks FBI SSA Christopher Stangl. #AntiSec— AnonymousIRC (@AnonymousIRC) September 4, 2012
AntiSec says the release is just a sample of the trove stolen from Stangl's computer, meant to call attention to the FBI's practice of tracking citizens.
Pleased to see, media actually asking the right question: Why the hell does an FBI agent have a database with 12M Apple UDID on his laptop?— AnonymousIRC (@AnonymousIRC) September 4, 2012
It says that most of the personal information obtained in the hack, such as names, numbers, and addresses, has been taken out of the released data. The Next Web has created a tool that lets you check to see if your device's UDID was among those leaked.
Thus far the FBI has not commented on the leak.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.