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+6Email 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
bmaz Was there a singularity point in time where the Beatles taught the Stones how to really rock? Yes but maybe only one https://t.co/6UjoVAiMmw
7hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @cnnbrk: Six charged in West Virginia water contamination. http://t.co/vm2ZJHoP3m.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @LemonSlayerUS As I noted, I'm pretty sure Graham was hanging around bc he was so involved in the 9/11 Inquiry.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @kgosztola: .@WashingtonPost editorial board protests Obama's "bailout" for Cuba http://t.co/VkAn3evvO6 Cause only Wall St firms deserve…
7hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @BeschlossDC: Castro met Malcolm X in Harlem NYC 1960: #Reuters http://t.co/VHBo4i6r4r
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel How much in taxes does Sony pay the US, anyway?
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ramez Property w/o cautiousness.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @gr8tale You obviously didn't click through.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @jrgaillot: RT of you have had enough of @MarcoRubio pushing for a policy that has failed the Cuban people for half a century http://t.c…
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I mean, John Brennan's abject failure to stop cyber attacks while Homeland Security Czar not mentioned in CIA hearings. But now? central
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @mazdaki: University of Florida students hold candlelight vigil for #PeshawarAttack victims. Wall painted #PeshawarStrong #FB http://t.c…
8hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I repeat: MI has offered to pay a man $48 M to coach football at a university but Leg refuses to tax enough to fill our potholes.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
September 2012
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30