The Federal Bureau of Investigation denied Tuesday that a sample of Apple data posted by the hacking group AntiSec originated with the agency.
The hackers claimed the agency was using the data, which included millions of Apple device identification numbers, to track the device owners.
But in a statement Tuesday the FBI said: “The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed. At this time, there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.”
At least one security expert speculates that the hack announcement was simply meant to draw attention.
In an interview with PC Mag’s Security Watch, F-Secure security adviser Sean Sullivan said that he thinks it could be a “PR scam by Anonymous.” The data itself could have come from a developer’s records, Sullivan said.
Some questioned whether the information could have come from servers seized last year by the FBI that contained data from the app Instapaper, but developer Marco Arment said on Twitter that he doesn’t collect UDIDs for his application. Arment, in turn, questioned whether the information could have from from the app AllClearID, which works with an agency mentioned in a filename in Tuesday’s release, the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance.
In a statement to Forbes, an AllClearID spokeswoman said that the app doesn’t collect UDIDs from phones and that “this incident is not linked to AllClearID.”
The hackers haven’t spoken up again — though an unusual demand they made has been fulfilled. In the release Monday, the hackers said that they wouldn’t speak to the media until Gawker writer Adrian Chen was featured on the site’s home page all day wearing a tutu and a shoe on his head.
Chen obliged, but there’s still been no more details about the alleged hack or any direct response to the FBI statement.