A small digital publisher and app developer in Florida has taken the blame for being the source of Apple iOS unique device identifiers stolen and leaked by hacking group AntiSec last week.
Paul DeHart, chief executive of the publisher Blue Toad, reportedly confirmed that the data leaked matched material in his company's database.
NBC News reported that technical staff at Blue Toad found a 98 percent correlation between the more than 12 million records leaked to the web by AntiSec, and information held by the company.
DeHart said the data had been collected as part of a "typical Apple protocol" for app developers. It was most likely stolen in the past two weeks, but DeHart declined to provide any further detail on the hack.
However, Blue Toad no longer collects the data.
"Apple a few months ago came out with some suggestions phasing out the UDIDs older information," DeHart told NBC News. "We are no longer recording them or longer storing them.
"We're pretty apologetic to the people who relied on us to keep the information secure."
The company approached law enforcement officials when it realised it was involved in the data breach, to "clear the record and take responsibility for this", according to DeHart.
Apple confirmed to NBC News that an app developer such as Blue Toad would have access to information such as UDIDs, as well as device names and types.
DeHart's admission draws some attention away from both the FBI, which AntiSec claimed was the original source of the stolen data, and Apple, which was at one time accused of providing to the data to authorities.
Both companies vehemently denied a role in the theft.
DeHart said he couldn't rule out the possibility that the stolen data was shared with others and ended up on an FBI computer.
However, he said that "timing-wise, their story doesn't make sense".
One hacker claiming involvement in the theft threatened to release logs of the theft to prove the FBI's continued involvement, but said in an online statement that "we has never said Apple gave this shit to FBI retards [sic]".
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