This Week in Geek: Hackers claim to steal millions of Apple IDs
by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star
Sep 09, 2012 | 5823 views |  0 comments | 286 286 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A hacker group on Sept. 3 claimed it stole from the FBI a database containing millions of Apple device IDs, but the FBI says it never had such a file.

The group, which calls itself “AntiSec,” also posted online more than one million of the IDs it claims to have stolen.

AntiSec said in a statement that in March it hacked into the laptop computer of an FBI agent and downloaded a file containing information found on 12 million Apple mobile devices.

The database, AntiSec claims, included the names of the devices’ owners, cell phone numbers, addresses and zip codes, though much of that information was removed from the 1,000,001 IDs it posted online.

The statement said the group published the stolen IDs to expose what they believe is an effort by the FBI to track mobile device users.

“It seems quite clear nobody pays attention if you just come and say ‘hey, FBI is using your device details and info’ … eventually, looking at the massive number of devices concerned, someone should care about it,” the statement read.

Following the Labor Day holiday, the FBI and Apple responded to the claim.

“At this time, there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data,” the FBI said in a press release Tuesday.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said Wednesday that “the FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization.”

Amazon announces new Kindle devices on Sept. 6 unveiled a family of new tablet computers and e-readers at a press event in Santa Monica, Calif.

Kindle Fire HD, the company’s new flagship tablet, comes in two flavors: one with a 7-inch screen and a larger device with a screen measuring 8.9 inches. Both offer stereo speakers, high-definition cameras and an output to allow users to stream content to a digital TV.

The 7-inch Kindle Fire retails for $199, while its larger sibling retails for $299.

Amazon also introduced an updated version of its original Kindle Fire model for $159 and a cellular-enabled Kindle Fire HD for $499.

For users only interested in reading, the company updated its base model Kindle e-reader and lowered its price to $69, and rolled out an illuminated touchscreen reader called Kindle Paperwhite for $119.

Some of the new Kindles will be available as early as this week, while the larger Kindle Fire HD will go on sale in November.

Microsoft invites users to ‘Bing it on’

Most Internet users are familiar with the idea of “Googling” — that is to say, searching the Web via Google for anything from restaurants to weather conditions to sneakers.

But if Microsoft finds success with its new campaign, more people might just be “Binging” the next time they’re looking for something online.

The Redmond, Wash., company, owners of search website Bing, say the results of a new independent study of one thousand Web users show that people prefer its search results 2-to-1 over Google in blind comparison.

They’re also inviting people to take a “Pepsi Challenge” of sorts at, which pits Bing’s results against Google’s in five user-chosen searches.

Even with the findings of the study, Google is still the most-used search service. More than two-thirds of all searches in July were done via Google, according to Internet research firm comScore.
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