FBI Denies Hackers' Claim Of Apple ID Theft
CNBC Washington Reporter
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the hacker group AntiSec didn't get its man.
The federal law enforcement agency says that agent Christopher Stangl never had Apple product information that AntiSec says it stole from Stangl's FBI-issued laptop.
"The FBI neither sought nor obtained the data," FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer told CNBC Wednesday.
AntiSec claimed to have stolen 12 million unique identifying numbers for Apple devices, which in many cases include identifying personal information such as email addresses and names. And the group says it has posted one million of those numbers on the Internet. (Read More: Hackers Claim to Have 12 Million Apple Device Records.)
In a statement posted on the website Pastebin.com, someone affiliated with AntiSec said the group had taken the information from the laptop of Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl using a vulnerability in Java that revealed user names, device names, zip codes, cell phone numbers and other personal details of the Apple device users in question.
The statement said the data release is intended to protest FBI tracking of Apple users, as well as a protest of a litany of grievances involving alleged government and corporate spying on citizens.
"People are frustrated, they feel the system manipulating them more than ever," the statement read in part. "Never underestimate the power of frustrated people."
Despite the claims, the FBI denied that the information was ever in its computer system to hack in the first place. (Read More: Cyberattacks on the Rise: Report.)
At issue are the so-called Unique Device Identifier codes, or UDID's that Apple uses to differentiate its iPad and iPod users. The use of such codes to track devices has come under criticism from internet privacy advocates, some of whom predicted that a breach of that data could expose the personal information of individual Apple users.
Late Wednesday, Apple backed up the FBI's version of the saga in a statement to the website AllThingsD, in which it said it had not transmitted such data to the FBI.
"The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization," the statement said. "Additionally, with iOS 6 we introduced a new set of APIs meant to replace the use of the UDID and will soon be banning the use of UDID."
And in a strange twist to the hacking incident, the original statement from AntiSec said that hackers would not give any press interviews on their latest claims until a writer for Gawker.com, Adrian Chen, posted a picture of himself in a ballet tutu with a shoe on his head.
Chen did just that, posting the photo on the Gawker home page Wednesday. But as of press time, he had not reported any further contact from the hacker group.
"I'm on Twitter at @AdrianChen if any Anonymous hackers and/or journalism prize committees would like to chat," Chen wrote in a post accompanying the tutu photo.
—By CNBC's Eamon Javers