It was big news that hackers who call themselves as “AntiSec” released around a million USIDs from a collection of 12 million UDIDs which had been stolen from a laptop that belonged to an FBI agent.
Although the hackers had removed some personal information from the UDIDs, it might be that your UDID might be along there with the other iPhone IDs on the internet.
The UDID is important as it identifies your device and hackers could use it to find out all kinds of information and things that are linked with your UDID. It is a big privacy concern, which can lead to identity theft as well. Moreover, why in the world was your UDID with the FBI? All this can be really alarming. You can check if your UDID was included in the million device ids via a tool that has been made available by The Next Web from this link. You just have to insert your UDID into the search field and they will check to see if they get a match. Moreover, they won’t store your UDID so no need to worry about that.
The Unique Device Identifier is a serial number that is unique to your device and it allows developers to identify users across different apps for the sole purpose of providing a more personalized experience. However, ad companies started using these UDIDs without the permission of the users and so Apple began to shut down sites that sold UDID activations and started banning apps that used UDIDs.
What’s more of a concern is the fact that how FBI got hold of the 12 million UDIDs!
The data was obtained by hacking into a Dell Vostro Notebook that was used by Supervisor Special agent Christopher K. Stangl from FBI Regional Cyber Action Team and the New York FBI Office Evidence Response Team has a lot of information that has the user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zip codes, cellphone numbers, addresses and more.
9to5Mac has an interesting theory on why the FBI had the UDIDs and they say that:
The FBI lifted these UDIDs in an unrelated raid last year which saw Instapaper creator Marco Arment’s server being stolen as well.
Arment has also said that:
“the breach didn’t involve the disks being taken, and I had nowhere near 12 million user records”. “Instapaper did log UDIDs with user accounts in the past, but has never transmitted or logged any of those other fields”.
This news has been quite alarming for the Apple community, and so if you have an iDevice be sure to check its UDID with the tool. Don’t forget to comment on the issue!