Apple confirms press event for September 12, but announcement tarnished by massive data leak

The Apple rumour machine has been in overdrive the past few months, but it’s now official – Apple will hold a press event on September 12 (September 13 AEST) to debut what many believe to be the latest update to the iPhone line-up.

But the announcement also comes alongside some bad news for the company – a hacking group claims to have leaked more than 12 million Apple IDs that it stole from an FBI computer.

Such a claim, if true, would have huge ramifications for both Apple and its privacy controls.

The company sent a press invitation out last night with the words “It’s coming”, and a huge “12”. In a clear sign the iPhone will be the subject of the announcement, the graphic also displays a large “5”.

But although the announcement has been made, it’s expected this event won’t actually showcase the rumoured iPad mini. That device will be highlighted in its own event in October, several reports have suggested.

The lead-up to the announcement of the new iPhone has been one of the most leak-filled affairs, even rivalling the incident in 2010 when an Apple employee left a prototype at a bar and sparked an international scandal.

Several images of iPhone components have leaked, showing a longer, thinner body, a different sized connector and a two-tone design.

Several other images have indicated the device will receive more battery power, and possibly 4G connectivity.

And while many analysts are betting on the phone being called the “iPhone 5”, a new report from TechCrunch indicates it may just be called “The new iPhone”, foregoing numerical names altogether. Apple did the same earlier this year with the iPad.

Separate reports from both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have pinned the phone’s release date as Friday, September 21.

SmartCompany will update early on September 13 with detailed coverage on the Apple announcement.

But the release of the invitation has been sullied by a separate report claiming over 12 million Apple IDs have been leaked.

The hacking group AntiSec claimed it had taken 12 million UDID (unique device identifier) numbers from iPads and iPhones from an FBI computer. The ramifications of such a leak are enormous given the amount of personal information that can be connected to these numbers.

Apple has already been concerned about access to UDID numbers because of privacy issues, and as TechCrunch points out, developers have been searching for alternatives.

Now, the FBI has said in a statement it’s not responsible for the leak.

“The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed. At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.”

AntiSec hasn’t provided any proof the leak has come from the FBI.

But the privacy community is already concerned about the initial connection, given these UDIDs also come alongside a leak with names, addresses and other information.

The full release of the hack is available here.




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