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.

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emptywheel One of greatest things abt Amazon's global logistics plan: Intel Community won't even have to leave IC server to get 1-stop 3rd party shop
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emptywheel @JasonLeopold Just be careful of the fire detectors. I hear CIA owns those.
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emptywheel @JasonLeopold John Brennan did not like being reminded that he drafted but did not send an apology. Never seen him that angry.
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emptywheel @JasonLeopold You're causing hella trouble today, between that and the blowup in SSCI. You hiding at Gitmo, bro?
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emptywheel @ncweaver Someone should bring back production of Soviet era Trabants and Skodas.
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bmaz @MasaccioEW I do not do this for nothing. Come on, you know me better than that. I have a target.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @Cirincione: Clapper headline shouldn’t be NK restarted its reactor — that was in 2013 — its that they may soon stop it and pull out Pu …
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emptywheel Craziest thing about this is there are PLENTY of NFL players w/similar proud profile as Beyonce. But they have penis https://t.co/1sQcEvmegy
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emptywheel On #crypto, is it me or did someone say we can't have crypto because of car crashes?
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emptywheel Told you all Beyonce being Beyonce was going to be more threatening than Janet's boob. https://t.co/1sQcEvmegy
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emptywheel Burr (and Comey) have JUST shown up it is a law enforcement issue, not an intel issue. So make it go through SJC, not SSCI.
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emptywheel Why are DAs going to Richard Burr on encryption? That's @ChuckGrassley's job, not Burr's.
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