To cap off a summer of devastating corporate data breaches, hackers yesterday posted online what might be the crown jewel of 2012 data dumps: 1 million identification numbers for Apple iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch's, all purportedly stolen from the FBI.
There may also be an additional 11 million Apple device IDs yet to be released, many with users' full names, addresses and telephone numbers attached.
"Why exposing [sic] this personal data?" asked the unnamed writer of the Pastebin posting announcing the data dump, who claimed to be affiliated with the anti-government hacktivist group AntiSec. "Well, we have learnt it seems quite clear nobody pays attention if you just come and say 'Hey, FBI is using your device details and info and who the [expletive] knows what the hell are they experimenting with that,' well sorry, but nobody will care."
The FBI has asked other websites to remove the link to the Pastebin posting on the grounds that the posting is spreading malware. SecurityNewsDaily can find no evidence of embedded malware in the Pastebin page, but reminds users to run an anti-virus scan on any material downloaded from file-sharing sites.
"If this story is true, then the real question becomes one of why an FBI agent is carrying this personally identifiable information on his laptop, and what sort of security practices the FBI is taking to protect that information," said Jennifer Granick, a digital-rights attorney who is currently the director of civil liberties at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society.