Apple UDID Leak: Why Does It Matter?

Ealier today, AntiSec hackers claimed that they had been able to breach into FBI servers and gain access to a list of 12 million Apple UDIDs. The group leaked 1 million UDIDs online, claiming them to be a part of the list.

The debate on the web has so far focused on how could the group have possibly laid its hands on the data? AntiSec’s claims that it was obtained from hacked FBI machines isn’t backed by any definitive proof. Nonetheless, if the claim is indeed true, this is a very worrisome revelation for privacy activists as well as the common users.The big question that has been raised by many Apple users is this: why does it matter? So what if someone has the UDIDs of Apple users and how can anyone possibly misuse them? These questions are very significant right now, given the claimed scope of the breach (with 12 million UDIDs on the stake.)

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According to different researchers, anyone who intends to misuse Apple UDIDs can potentially gain access to personal information as well as the location details of an Apple device’s owner. Moreover, with the help of these UDIDs, a hacker may even be able to gain access to the social media accounts of a user.

However, others think that exposed UDIDs are not that great a threat. According to a security expert, Chris Valasek, “So exactly how worried should you be? The answer is, slightly concerned. Many times developers incorrectly use a user’s UDID to do certain types of tracking or worse, authentication. Having someone’s UDID alone does not permit an attacker to actively attack and control your phone. There may be personal privacy concerns, such as location tracking or account hijacking, but while a dump of UDIDs is not good it should not provoke panic.”

Unfortunately, even if some hard could be caused through the leaked UDIDs, there’s nothing that can be done for now. If your UDID is indeed on the list published by AntiSec, all you can do is wait and see. For now, there are no solutions being offered by security experts. We do sincerely hope, though, that Apple is looking into this matter.

Read more about Apple Inc, Hacking and Security.

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