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Hacked Apple IDs came from us, admits mobile publisher

11 Sep 2012
Security threats - password theft

Small mobile publishing firm BlueToad has reported that they were the group that was hacked last week.

BlueToad's admission ends the week-long question of where 12 million Apple ID's published online came from. Hacktivists had previously claimed the ID's came from the FBI. However, FBI officials denied having such data from the start.

In a statement posted on the BlueToad's website, chief executive Paul Dehart apologised for the well-publicised hack.

"We sincerely apologise to our partners, clients, publishers, employees and users of our apps," Dehart said in his statement.

"We take information security very seriously and have great respect and appreciation for the public's concern surrounding app and information privacy."

Hacktivist group Anonymous released 12 million unique device identifiers (UDID's) online last week. The group claimed the codes came from an FBI laptop they successfully hacked. FBI officials eventually countered the claims calling them "totally false".

BlueToad's chief executive explained the type of information his company was handling and reiterated that nothing it collected went against government standards.

"BlueToad does not collect, nor have we ever collected, highly-sensitive personal information like credit cards, social security numbers or medical information," Dehart continued.

"The illegally obtained information primarily consisted of Apple device names and UDIDs - information that was reported and stored pursuant to commercial industry development practices."

UDID's are found on Apple iOS devices. They contain information like user names, device names, zip codes, the device type, and the mobile's number.

Dehart reassured the public that his firm believes the information that was leaked had a very low risk of hurting users.

"We understand and respect the privacy concerns surrounding the data that was stolen from our system. BlueToad believes the risk that the stolen data can be used to harm app users is very low," Dehart said.

"But that certainly doesn't lessen our resolve to ensure that all data is protected and kept from those who seek to illegally obtain it."

Hacking has become very prominent in 2012. Sony Mobile was recently hacked by hacktivists looking to prove the poor security standards of the company.

Anonymous hackers also shut down Swedish government websites early last week in sign of solidarity for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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