The hacking group Anonymous lied when it claimed to have hacked into an FBI agent’s laptop and extracted a file with millions of personal details about Apple users.
The file in fact came from a web publisher called Blue Toad, whose chief executive Paul DeHart said on Monday that the file details of unique device IDs – UDIDs – which were put online match those in a database that the firm has collected from its customers.
DeHart said that the file was copied from the company following a “criminal cyber attack” just over a week ago. That, he said, “resulted in the theft of Apple UDIDs from our systems. Shortly thereafter, an unknown group posted these UDIDs on the internet.”
Blue Toad describes itself as “a Digital Publishing company providing Digital Editions and Apps to publishers worldwide. We utilize Page Flip technology to convert a PDF into an online viewable format.” That matches some of the details in the leaked file, which the Guardian has seen, which include names of people living in France and Europe as well as the US. There would be no reason for the FBI to have details of people living outside the US.
Anonymous had claimed that it had hacked an FBI agent’s laptop using a vulnerability in the Java programming language and copied a file called NFCTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv which contained 12.36m UDIDs, as well as names, phone numbers, and other identifying details.
But it released a file which contained 999,936 entries, and only had the device UDIDs, a string known as a “push token” used to send content to the device, the name given to the device itself (such as “Aaliyah’s iPad”) and the kind of device – either iPhone or iPad.
Unusually, the FBI rebutted the claim within hours, saying on Twitter that the claim was “totally false”. Normally, the agency ignores claims made by hacking crews alleging leaks of information. Apple also later said that the file had not come from it.
Suspicion initially fell on an app called AllClear ID, used to protect personal details and which has connections with the NFCTA, but the company refuted the claim by pointing out that it does not collect UDIDs.
The hack against Blue Toad, while serious, would not have revealed any personal details. The UDID for a device does not identify its user directly. Nor would the “push tokens” in the database be usable to identify a device.
DeHart said in the blog post: “We sincerely apologize to our partners, clients, publishers, employees and users of our apps. We take information security very seriously and have great respect and appreciation for the public’s concern surrounding app and information privacy.”
He added that no other details had been taken besides those shown: “BlueToad does not collect, nor have we ever collected, highly sensitive personal information like credit cards, social security numbers or medical information. The illegally obtained information primarily consisted of Apple device names and UDIDs – information that was reported and stored pursuant to commercial industry development practices.”
Apple is phasing out the UDID in the next version of its iPhone and iPad operating system iOS, which is expected to be released later in September with the next version of its iPhone. That is expected to be unveiled on Wednesday.
Internet goes wild over ‘obviously drunk’ Larry Kudlow on Fox News: ‘He’s lying while slurring his words’
Speculation was rampant on Sunday that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow was drunk on Fox News.
"There is no economic recession in sight," Kudlow insisted to Fox News Sunday host Dana Perino.
Twitter, however, was buzzing about Kudlow's speech patterns instead of his questionable economic optimism.
"Pretty sure Larry Kudlow is drunk on my TV right now... And he is lying while slurring his words," one Twitter user noted.
"Kudlow is on fox news Sunday right now and from my 30 yrs of tending bar, I gotta say this guy appears drunk," another user observed.
Foreign diplomats preparing for the worst — another Trump win in 2020: ‘People don’t want to be stupid twice’
According to a report from Politico, foreign diplomats are not so sure Donald Trump will be beaten in the 2020 election and are making contingency plans for how they will deal with him should he be re-elected.
The report notes that the win by the New York businessman in 2016 caught foreign governments by surprise with former French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud admitting, "In 2016, nobody believed he was going to be elected. People don’t want to be stupid twice.”
According to Politico, "There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO were willing to say that Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."
Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times
President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'
Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."