Accusations are flying around regarding the supposed compromise of 12 million Apple iOS Unique Device ID’s (UDID’s) along with personal information stored on an FBI agent’s computer. Some say it was a hacked Dell notebook while other insiders speculate that cyber criminals actually gained access to a hacked iPhone. The Bureau has denied the breach and even possession of the data allegedly stolen in the first place. Addresses, mobile phone numbers, zip codes, push notification, user names, device names, and UDID’s in and of themself are not big security breaches if stolen, but collectively, when put together as pieces of a puzzle, start to provide a profile of individuals their whereabouts, and activities throughout the course of a day.
Now go a step further and imagine coupling this data with wireless information such as when a particular wireless device is associated with a particular access point at home or the local Starbucks. This wireless connection allows individuals to learn travel patterns and locations at particular times. The culmination of all of this data raises concerns over privacy issues (not to mention security issues for our mobile devices) regardless if it is in a field agents hands or a hackers’ possession. Information can be powerful and dangerous so best step practices should be taken to ensure a level of protection and security for all of our mobile devices. I always encourage individuals to keep their mobile phones secure and implement the following as a minimum:
1) Lock your phone requiring a code to turn it on.
2) Avoid clicking on links in your email (protects from phishing scams)
3) Regularly update the OS with the latest security software
Hackers and cyber thieves thrive on causing chaos and doubt. At the end of the day, the FBI will never be quick to admit a breach ever occurred. To date, the security breach is rather doubtful with little evidence supporting the allegations. My question is, if the FBI could be hacked, then couldn’t an average tech savvy user also be easily hacked? When hackers target security vulnerabilities and the FBI and Apple are pulled in the mix you know these rotten apples will eventually spoil the rest for us.