The FBI's response? A flat-out denial. As a side note, it turns out the agent who allegedly got pwned, Chris Stangl, was featured in a 2009 video attempting to recruit hackers over to the good side of the force. (Hat tip to Slashgear's Chris Davies for that tidbit.)
Of course, we don't know if AntiSec got these UDIDs from Stangl or even the feds; all we have is the word of a semiliterate digital delinquent with serious anger management issues. We don't know if the source of these IDs was Apple, an app developer, or a series of app developers. Even if they came from the feds, we don't know if they obtained these IDs legally via a warrant, if they were given them by companies, or if they were seized from some other hacker who had purloined them.
How big a deal is this? Blogger Aldo Cortesi calls it a "privacy catastrophe," noting that UDIDs can be linked to other personal information, as well as the "ability to completely take over the user's Facebook and Twitter accounts." Personally, I'd be more worried about AntiSec taking over my Facebook and Twitter than the FBI, but maybe that's just me. I really don't see how much use 12 million UDIDs would be to the feds, who could certainly get access to a lot more sensitive information about us if they wanted to.
Far more worrisome to me, if this story proves true, is how easily the feds got gamed. Are all G-men laptops as porous as this one allegedly was? What other sensitive info is in there for the taking, and who else has it?
We have a lot of questions, a ton of speculation, and very few solid answers. Unless this escalates to the level of Congressional attention -- in an election year, that's a distinct possibility -- we may never see any resolution.
Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Apple-ist party? Come clean below or take the fifth here: email@example.com.
This article, "The Apple-FBI hack: 1 million and one damnations," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.