Wednesday, March 13, 2013

With the World Wide Web, no one's information is private, including the Vice President's, First Lady's, Beyonce, and other politicians & entertainers.

Some hackers have it out for a handful of celebrities, politicians, and law enforcement officials, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and pop singer Beyonce.
Collected onto one Web site called "The Secret Files", browser's will find a slew of financial and personal information on these public figures. The data is so sensitive that it has sparked investigations by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday that the government agencies are looking into how obtained the Social Security numbers, credit reports, telephone numbers, and addresses of these individuals, according to Reuters.

So far, it looks like a lot of the private information came from illegally obtained consumer credit reports from the companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. According to Bloomberg, the hackers got the reports by collecting personal details about the celebrities and politicians from the Web or other sources. Armed with this preliminary information, the hackers were able to impersonate the victims and fool the credit report Web sites into giving them each person's credit history.

"We are aware of recent media reports pertaining to unauthorized access to files belonging to high-profile individuals," Equifax spokesman Tim Klein told Bloomberg. "Equifax can confirm that fraudulent and unauthorized access to four consumer credit reports has occurred."

It's unclear exactly how much of the information posted on The Secret Files is accurate or when it was gathered. According to Politico, a handful of the credit reports were generated last week. A Twitter account for The Secret Files has been suspended.

Besides the First Lady, Vice President, and Beyonce, the list of people exposed on The Secret Files include:
  • socialite Kim Kardashian
  • FBI Director Robert Mueller
  • former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck
  • actor Mel Gibson
  • actor Ashton Kutcher
  • rapper Jay-Z
  • socialite Paris Hilton
  • pop singer Britney Spears
  • former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
  • wrestler Hulk Hogan
  • property mogul Donald Trump
  • former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • former Vice President Al Gore
  • rapper Kanye West
  • socialite Kris Jenner

Source: Reuters, Bloomberg, Politico, CNET

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