The FBI has released a statement saying that there is "no evidence" to support recent claims by a hackers group that they gained access to a bureau computer containing information on millions of Apple users.
The statement is in response to an online post by Antisec, a politically minded branch of the hacker collective Anonymous. The group posted the alleged IDs of more than 1 million iPhones and iPads on Monday.
In addition to the posted IDs, the hackers implied that they had another 12 million IDs, including other information such as users' names, cell phone numbers and billing addresses , all of which they allegedly got from the laptop of an FBI agent.
The post caused media uproar on Tuesday and even raised questions about security within the FBI and why the bureau would have collected that information about people in the first place.
If cross-referenced with info available to Apple developers, The IDs could theoretically help someone find more specific details about the device's owner, according to CNN.
Antisec claimed hackers exploited vulnerability in the programming language Java on the computer of Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl, who specializes in cybersecurity.
The FBI responded Tuesday afternoon by saying they are "aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs (unique device IDs) was exposed," according to an FBI spokesperson. "At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data."
As of Tuesday afternoon, there had been no confirmation that the claims of the FBI hacking was indeed authentic.
"We don't have any way of confirming the source of the data, or what else might have been taken, but it does appear that the files do contain at least some genuine Apple UDIDs," Graham Cluley, a senior tech consultant at Sophos Security, told CNN. "Certainly things would be worse if the personal info was also released. But at the moment it feels as if the hackers might be more interested in embarrassing the FBI and causing mischief than putting innocent users at risk."
While no one representative of Antisec has come forward has come forward to take credit for the hack, Monday's post on document-sharing site Pastebin refers readers to a Twitter feed considered a reliable source of Anonymous information. On it, the user, or users, took credit for the post.
"Pleased to see, media actually asking the right question: Why the hell does an FBI agent have a database with 12M Apple UDID on his laptop?" AnonymousIRC tweeted.
According to statements via Twitter, the group claimed the document had been viewed 370,000 times in less than 24 hours.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.