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BlueToad says it, not FBI, was source of Apple device IDs

The digital publishing company in Florida says a stolen list of Apple device IDs came from its computers. Hacker group AntiSec claimed the data came from an FBI official's laptop.

September 11, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times

BlueToad, a digital publishing company in Florida, said a stolen list of 1 million Apple device IDs came from its computers, not the FBI's, as an Internet hacker group has claimed.

Chief Executive Paul DeHart said Monday that BlueToad took a look at the stolen data that had been posted online, compared the data with the company's and found that there was a "significant match."

"At that point we knew conclusively that it was our data that'd been compromised," he said in a phone interview, adding that the company was the victim of a cyber attack a week and a half ago.

DeHart said BlueToad develops apps for magazine, newspaper and book publishers.

"For now we'd like to avoid disclosing any of our clients," he said. "We want to avoid any unnecessary reaction."

The data were posted online last week by AntiSec, a hacker group associated with Anonymous. The group said it hacked an FBI official's laptop for the data, which the federal agency denied.

AntiSec also claimed to have a total of 12 million IDs and corresponding email addresses, phone numbers and other information for some of them.

But DeHart said that is unlikely. He said BlueToad collected only IDs and that the company does not have 12 million of them.

"We don't have any reason to believe they have any other information from our users," he said.

DeHart said BlueToad went to the FBI and Apple Inc. as soon as it discovered the match. He said the company was barred by law enforcement from disclosing its discovery to the public until Monday.

As for why BlueToad collects the IDs, DeHart said the company uses them to analyze app traffic.

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