UPDATE: FBI Hacked and Found to Be Spying on iOS Devices – Tech Tuesday
Shocked! Yes, shocked and dismayed at the revelation that the FBI would be tracking and spying on people’s iPhones and other iOS devices. Actually, I’m not that surprised about it. There’s been story after story coming out about how the government can collect data, without warrants, about anyone. This hack just shows you what they have on you.
LulzSec, thought to be an offshoot of Anonymous, has released a file that was downloaded from an FBI computer that shows the unique identifier from over 12 million iOS devices. Back in March of 2012, a Dell laptop used by Supervisor Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl from FBI Regional Cyber Action Team and New York FBI Office Evidence Response Team was the unsuspecting target of a Java hack. During the hack, a file was downloaded from his machine with the name “NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv”. This is the file containing not only the unique identifiers for iOS devices, but also, usernames, names of the devices, push notification tokens, zipcodes, cellphone numbers and a host of other data.
The boys in Lulzsec scrubbed any blatantly personal data from the file before posting it as proof of the hack, but that doesn’t really make me feel any better. And the fact someone from the FBI is just kind of walking around with a file about 12 million people and the word “intel”, as in intelligence, is part of the name of the file. I’m starting to understand all those paranoid people I meet.
And if you look at the above photo, yes, I did download the file and load it up. Only to search to see if any of my iOS devices were in the list. None were, but this is only a million of the 12 million entries. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find my devices in the full file. In the meantime, I’ll be sitting back watching how the FBI spins this little boo-boo.
UPDATE: It appears that it wasn’t the FBI who got hacked. It was a developer in Florida called Blue Toad, and they have come forward. They said the information released matches their databases by 98%. Two things about this astonish me: 1. The FBI was telling the truth. Mind = blown! 2. A private company is collecting this kind of data? Makes you think.