Apple UDID hack has BlueToad data, publisher says; Anonymous claims GoDaddy crash

September 10, 2012

The chief executive of the publisher BlueToad says that data used to identify Apple devices posted by hackers who said they stole the information from the FBI matches data from BlueToad servers.

Last week, hackers identifying as members of the Anonymous AntiSec movement posted data allegedly taken from an FBI laptop. The agency immediately denied the hack and the accusation that the FBI had “sought or obtained” data that developers can use to determine Apple device IDs.

Paul DeHart told NBC News in an interview released Monday that the file posted by the hackers was a “98 percent” match with BlueToad data.

“That’s 100 percent confidence level, it’s our data,” DeHart said.

In a statement on a company blog, DeHart apologized to his customers and said the security vulnerability on the company’s severs has been patched.

Apple also denied last week that the FBI had any of its user device identification data, or UDIDs. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said then that Apple will “soon be banning the use of UDID.” The company’s upcoming operating system, iOS 6, will replace UDIDs with another developers tool, Muller said.

That should be welcome news to privacy advocates, including research Chris Sogohian, who wrote last week on the American Civil Liberties Union Web site that UDIDs could too easily become personally identifiable information.

DeHart said that he couldn’t say with certainty that BlueToad data did not somehow go through another party before it was posted by Anonymous. But he said that the attack on his company took place just a couple of weeks ago, while the hacker group claimed that information on millions of Apple gadgets was taken from the FBI in March.

Meanwhile, a hacker also identifying as a member of Anonymous took credit Monday for taking down the servers of GoDaddy.com, pulling many of the company’s Web sites off line. GoDaddy hosts millions of Web sites across the Web and is the world’s largest registrar.

“Status Alert: Hey, all. We're aware of the trouble people are having with our site. We're working on it,” the company tweeted Monday morning. Users are also reporting having problems with e-mail accounts hosted on the service.

According to the hacker claiming personal responsibility for the attack, AnonymousOwn3r, the hit is to “test how the cyber security is safe” as well as for “more reasons” that he or she did not disclose.

The person claiming responsibility for the attack did not mention the company’s past views on intellectual property legislation. GoDaddy was the target of a lot of criticism because the company had been a vocal supporter of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property (IP) Act, before a boycott convinced the company to stop its advocacy.

On Twitter, businesses affected by the site outage are appealing to the alleged Anonymous hacker to stop the attack. As one user from Charter Marketing tweeted, “you got your press, now put it back so we can get back to work.”

Related stories:

FBI denies hacker claims over Apple UDIDs

Go Daddy pulls SOPA support

AntiSec claims the FBI has 12 million Apple device IDs

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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