There were a number of alarming hacks and security breaches this summer, but the one that broke Tuesday may be the most troubling of them all. A hacker group called AntiSec claims to have hacked an FBI computer and successfully swiped 12 million Apple IDs—and they've posted a million of them online. If you have an Apple or iTunes account, you would be advised to change that password as soon as possible.
To be clear, these IDs are not usernames and passwords. These IDs actually UDIDs: Unique Device Identifiers, a 40-character string tied to your Apple computer, iPhone, or iPad that acts as sort of a serial number for your Apple device. The hackers do claim, however, that they used these UDIDs to produce full names, cell phone numbers, email addresses, and other personal information.
The alleged hack of 12 million Apple device IDs brings up two very big questions. First, are these hackers telling the truth, and do they really have this information? And if so, what the heck were 12 million Apple IDs doing in an FBI database?
One can see all of the IDs that were allegedly leaked, but I sure don't have the technical skills to do it. The AntiSec hackers posted a long and rambling statement explaining how they hacked the information, and how you can see it. You have to know how to download the file—which might be crawling with malware, BTW—decrypt the information, and then decompress it.
If you'd rather just find out if your Apple device was among them, and then hopefully breathe a huge sigh of relief, TheNextWeb has an online tool to check if your Apple device was compromised.
The hackers have expressed willingness to share their methods—but not until a series of bizarre demands are met. Their demands are (I promise I am not making this up): "no more interviews to anyone till Adrian Chen get featured in the front page of Gawker, a whole day, with a huge picture of him dressing a ballet tutu and shoe on the head, no photoshop".
The FBI, for their part, claims the hack never really happened. "The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed," the FBI told CNET. "At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data."
CNET was able to confirm, however, that some individuals ran the hackers' file, and did indeed find their own device ID and corresponding personal information.
Apple has thus far completely refused to comment. They would apparently rather that people were discussing the iPhone 5 coming out next week instead of some massive security breach.