Sept 4, 2012
Hacker group Antisec has leaked what it says is evidence that the FBI is actively monitoring the communications of every American using an iPhone.
The hackers released a statement Tuesday claiming that it had obtained detailed information on some 12 million iphone users, taken from an FBI agent’s laptop.
The group, long associated with the more notorious Anonymous hacktivist organisation, released 1 million iOS device IDs to back up its claims.
With some identifying information removed, the data proves, according to Antisec, that
“F****** FBI IS USING YOUR DEVICE INFO FOR A TRACKING PEOPLE PROJECT OR SOME S***”
A more detailed passage in the statement notes:
During the second week of March 2012, a Dell Vostro notebook, used by Supervisor Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl from FBI Regional Cyber Action Team and New York FBI Office Evidence Response Team was breached using the AtomicReferenceArray vulnerability on Java, during the shell session some files were downloaded from his Desktop folder one of them with the name of ”NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv” turned to be a list of 12,367,232 Apple iOS devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone numbers, addresses, etc. the personal details fields referring to people appears many times empty leaving the whole list incompleted on many parts. no other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose.
“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’,” the group states.
The full profanity laced AntiSec post can be read in full here.
Neither the FBI, nor Apple has commented on the leak.
If it is genuine, and there is no reason to believe it is not, this case once again goes to show that whether it be mandatory Homeland security alerts, wirelessly disabling your communications on a whim, or secretly tracking you where ever you go, the rise of smart phones brings with it a huge threat to privacy and the rights of the individual.
Again, this is another case not of smart phones and technology in general being intrusive, but of the technology being co-opted and abused by those who could care less for the constitutional rights of free Americans.
Below is a recent video detailing how two security researchers discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of a user’s location and saves that information to a file that is stored both on the device and on a user’s computer when they sync or back it up in iTunes.
The researchers, Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan, discovered the hidden file while collaborating on a potential data visualization project. “At first we weren’t sure how much data was there, but after we dug further and visualised the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements,” Warden told The Guardian.
As we reported at the time, the controversy was treated as a shocking revelation by the media, and yet since October 2001, the FCC has mandated that all wireless carriers track the location of their users down to within 50 feet.