Hackers Hack The FBI – Gain Access To Millions Of Apple IDs

The hacker group Anonymous is at it again, this time taking on the nation’s top federal law enforcement agency, the FBI.  In a move that seems to have a bit of irony, the group hacked the computer of the FBI’s special agent Christopher Stangl – who just years ago appeared in a video calling for computer science professionals to join the force.  At the time, he said that the professionals are needed now “more than ever.”

Anonymous published a large cache of unique identifier numbers (UDID) for Apple devices.  Though the group published about 1 million of the numbers, they claimed that they had actually acquired more than 12 million of them.  According to Forbes cyber security reporter Andy Greenberg, he has downloaded the file and confirms that it does seems to contain character strings which are made up of numbers and letters A through F – which is the signature of the Apple UDISs.

The UDISs were apparently developed and put in place by Apple so that developers and advertisers could track the behavior of the end user.  This apparently drew the ire of the hackers who reported “We never liked the concept of UDIDs since the beginning indeed. Really bad decision from Apple. Fishy thingie.”

One of the surprising facets of the theft is that the FBI had this information in the first place.  We are all well aware of the federal government listening in on telephone calls, and maybe even reading certain emails.  But what would that want with Apple IDs?  According to Anonymous, the database also  features “user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone numbers, addresses, etc.”

The fact that this information was stored on an FBI laptaop in the first place seems to have made it all the more an interesting target for Anonymous.  The group apparently used a vulnerability in the Java software on the computer in order to gain access.

Hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec have apparently joined forces to hack various noteworthy targets, with the FBI being one of the most prominent.  The presumed purpose of hacking the FBI is to gain access to information which would be embarrassing to the agency, and to show that the agency is not impenetrable as is perceived.  In fact, the operation which stole the UDIDs was reportedly part of a regular FBI hacking session which occurs weekly.  The code name of the hacking session: F*ck FBI Fridays.

The raising prominence of the groups have led to crackdowns, but as of yet the shadowy groups seem to continue hacking into government and business computers unabated.

According to published reports the Dell laptop of special agent Stangl was hacked this year, which seems to conflict other reports that the hacking occurred this past Friday.

The link to the stolen UDIDs was posted on Pastebin on Monday by a person going by the username AntiSec – which apparently refers to a 14-month old joint operatin between Anonymous and LulzSec.

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