The anti-government hacking group, Anti-Sec, says it stole 12 million Apple ID numbers from the laptop of an FBI agent from the FBI Regional Cyber Action Team in New York.
The numbers are supposedly linked to consumers' iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Anti-Sec claims the IDs are listed alongside user names, device names, phone numbers, and addresses.
To prove it, the group says it leaked a million of those numbers yesterday. However the file containing the stolen information is heavily encrypted, and while some security experts did get in and confirm the theft, it's still difficult to confirm it on a wide-scale basis. If true, it would be a massive data breach.
The Apple identification numbers listed in the file are not the "Apple IDs" with which users sign into iCloud, iTunes and other services, but unique device identifiers that developers often ask users to submit to access apps.
The sourcing of this information remains difficult. It appears to have first been posted by a website supposedly linked to the hacktivist group Anonymous. But that posting also contains sometimes intelligible rantings about the Syrian rebels, Wikileaks, and the imprisoned Russian punk band, Pussy Riot.
Various web sites have links consumers can use to see if their Apple ID numbers match those the group claims to have stolen. However, consumers should only use familiar links they trust, and should be cautious sharing share personal data while trying to verify a breach.