An anonymous hacker has published detailed personal record and financial information about a host of celebrities and public figures across the worlds of Hollywood and politics, that includes Vice President Joe Biden, Beyonce, and Jay-Z.
The hacking attack is a comprehensive one and involves a roll call of names that includes actors Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, reality stars Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, FBI director Robert Mueller, and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) chief Charlie Beck.
The site where the information was posted exposes credit card details, contact information, social security numbers, and mortgage payments, and other data. All was made public via screen shots of online banking information.
TMZ broke the story.
No doubt, due to the scale of the boldness and scale of hacking, the Los Angeles Police Department has joined forces with the FBI to investigate the violations.
Cyberattacks are an increasing phenomenon in life in general. In December, a hacker who admitted to stealing nude photos from various stars, including Scarlett Johansson was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
But it seems the rot goes far wider. Cyber-espionage expert Dmitri Alperovitch, former head of threat research at McAfee and co-founder of CrowdStrike, says:
“I know of major Hollywood studios that have worked on distribution rights and other negotiations with Chinese companies and have been hacked before those negotiations had been completed because the Chinese wanted their negotiation playbook. The other side knows exactly what they’re planning to do and will cheat and get their way in the negotiation.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal recently reported their computer systems had been hacked, allegedly by a high-level hacking group sponsored by the Chinese government.
When a seemingly disparate spectrum of targets of this scale and visibility have their most sensitive details hacked with apparent ease, President Obama’s recent statements about cyber-attacks have never seemed more prescient.