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September: Apple's UDID leaks linked to Florida data breach, not FBI
With the rollout of iOS 6 imminent, a wave of unique iOS-powered device codes (UDIDs) were stolen by Anonymous, allegedly from the FBI, and were uploaded to the Web. UDID codes are used by developers for analytics, but could also be used to personally identify users. There was enough suspicion to suggest either Apple had passed on the device codes for FBI surveillance, or the iPhone and iPad maker was forced to. It blew up a privacy brouhaha for close to a fortnight.
Apple said, in a rare public statement, that the data had not been requested by the FBI or provided it to any organization. Eventually, after both Apple and the FBI denied any knowledge or involvement, a small company in Florida admitted to a data breach, which led to the UDID codes leaking to the Web. Apple's iOS 6 mobile operating system was rolled out only a few weeks later, which removed UDIDs from iOS-powered devices.
October: Ghostshell hacks universities, massive data breach
Records from a number of prominent universities were made public after a Ghostshell hacker obtained more than 120,000 records and sets of data. Most of the data was SQL-related content.
The leaked data contained more than 36,600 email addresses were identified and tens of thousands of university student, faculty, and staff names were disclosed. While the details of only one bank account were disclosed, much of the data included ethnic, nationality and other personally identifiable information, as well as a whole range of passwords.
The Ghostshell group is known for its higher education agenda, with focus not limited to tuition fees and troubles in the post-graduation job market.
- Read more: GhostShell university hack: By the numbers
South Carolina suffers huge Social Security records theft
The state of South Carolina suffered a massive data loss of more than 3.6 million Social Security records, after government servers were breached. With a population of 4.6 million, this breach represented about 78 percent of the state's population. 16,000 credit card details were also stolen without encryption.
The figure also included 670,000 businesses affected by the data breach. It took close to three weeks before the hack came to light after U.S. Secret Service first received information regarding an incident on October 10, 2012.