Anonymous leaked 1 million Apple device IDs last week, claiming they were found on an FBI laptop. This had the unexpected result of me wearing a tutu and putting a shoe on my head in order to elicit more information from the hacktivist group. But an NBC report has revealed the leak actually came from a boring app developer. Anonymous is full of shit—but at least everyone on the internet got to see my legs.
Anonymous claimed they'd hacked into an FBI agent's laptop in March and found a database of 12 million Apple UDIDs—the unique codes that identify Apple devices like iPods and iPhones. They leaked one million last week, freaking out the internet. This was proof that the "FBI IS USING YOUR DEVICE INFO FOR A TRACKING PEOPLE PROJECT OR SOME SHIT," they screamed in a press release.
But a new NBC REPORT says the UDIDs were actually stolen from an app publisher named Blue Toad, which appears to specialize in making mobile editions of magazines and other publications. Blue Toad's CEO confirmed to NBC's Bob Sullivan that 99% of the data leaked by Anonymous matched their own data. What's more, Blue Toad's forensic evidence showed that the breach occurred "in the past two weeks."
The FBI, meanwhile, has denied that there is any evidence one of their laptop was breached.
So, there was no March FBI laptop hack, and no FBI iPhone spying. Anonymous almost certainly cooked up that story to smear the FBI and give their latest leak a sexy hook. This is fairly surprising. Anonymous has been spotty about some leaks and hacks in the past, but haven't really straight-up lied about the provenance of data. We may now see the end of Anonymous as a leaking force, as any future release will be highly suspect.
And, yeah, I do feel like a bit of a chump for having given into Anonymous' demand that I wear a tutu and put a shoe on my head before they gave interviews about a hack that now appears to have never happened. (The only comments elicited by my photo so far have been from Gawker commenters, and they've been mostly leg-hair-related.) Lacking any further further evidence, I'm going to have to assume this whole thing was an elaborate scheme by some heartsick Anonymous member who pined to see me in a tutu—the third act of a hacktivist rom-com. I'm flattered.