With What Databases Has NCTC Cross-Referenced with FBI’s 12 Million iDevice User IDs?

Update, 6/13/13: For those coming to this via my Twitter link, subverzo reminded me that this turned out to be a false claim. The data came from an Apple developer, not from FBI. 

Sorry for the confusion.

As you may have heard, Anonymous and AntiSec hacked into a database of 12 million Apple Universal Device IDs that were in an FBI officer’s laptop and released 1 million of them, ostensibly so some people could identify if their device was one of those FBI was tracking.

They claimed to have tapped into a Dell laptop owned by Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl, an FBI cyber security expert. They downloaded several files, including one that contained “12,367,232 Apple iOS devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID)” and other personal information, they wrote in a text file published online. “[The] personal details fields referring to people appears many times empty leaving the whole list incompleted [sic] on many parts. no other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose.”

While it’s not immediately clear what the FBI is doing with the Apple UDIDs and detailed information on device owners, Gizmodo pointed out that the acronym “NCFTA” could stand for the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance, a nonprofit that acts as an information-sharing gateway between private industry and law enforcement.

These are unique identifiers for things like iPhones and iPads that have long presented the risk of tying someone’s identity to an individual device.

There are multiple ways FBI could have collected this information–either using an NSL or Section 215 request or an insecure transmissions to an ad or game server. And no one knows how the FBI was using it. Whatever you think about Anonymous, we may finally learn more about how the government is tracking geolocation.

But here’s one other concern. Assuming that’s an official FBI database, not only the FBI has it, but also the National Counterterrorism Center. And they’ve got access to whatever federal databases they want to cross-check with existing counterterrorism databases. And one of the few checks we have on the use of our data in this way is a Privacy Act SCOTUS just watered down.

This is a massive amount of data the government likely has no good excuse for having collected, much less used. But it’s likely just one tip of a very big iceberg.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+4Email to someone

29 Responses to With What Databases Has NCTC Cross-Referenced with FBI’s 12 Million iDevice User IDs?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel RT @DanLamothe: BREAKING: Two women pass Mountain Phase at Ranger School, now one step short of graduation https://t.co/u9517ABHDI http://t…
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @onekade: Great conference @theCCR put together, live streaming now: http://t.co/J1cBnFlXiG #Law4BlackLives
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @brianjbowe I'm blaming that one having to deal w/old dog issues so frequently. @nickmanes1 @p2wy @hallegrina
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @hallegrina If you run thru new H2O feature at Cherry Park, OPEN AS OF 9 MINUTES AGO!!!, it rains tacos. @brianjbowe @nickmanes1 @p2wy
13mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @ajam: Utility chiefs to be charged over Fukushima nuclear crisis http://t.co/OEG6YXwtRW http://t.co/Gi0IOxyDPw
15mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Wait, after possible missing flight debris washes up on Reunion Island, now they also have a volcano erupting? What are the odds?
19mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @TylerCullis: Zarate, Dubowitz, and Levitt. Quite possibly, the most ridiculous of all the ridiculous Senate hearings: http://t.co/DUPvs
21mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @the_intercept: Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Now an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” http://t.co/bppXGwwhRZ http://t.co/XQkTOeifJR
21mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @armandodkos My concern on Biebs' front is whether I have enough popcorn for the next few weeks.
25mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Pachacutec_ @emptywheel Are you two done Gronking yet?
42mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @GreggJLevine Oh here it comes. First the Dayen Bros, now you!
43mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ggreenwald @charlie_savage @janehamsher Book Salon was fantastic. Just some great titles and wonderful people there over the years.
46mreplyretweetfavorite
September 2012
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30