It’s all fun and laughter until the First Lady Michelle Obama’s personal financial data gets compromised.
US authorities are now currently investigating into the case of the hacker(s) posting up sensitive information belonging to several A-list celebrities and world icons. The hackers, using a Russian web address, published the credit reports and social security numbers for Michelle Obama, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck.
They also posted social security numbers and other personal information relating to Vice President Joe Biden and former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, as well as tycoon Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Britney Spears. In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Barack Obama said:
We should not be surprised that if we’ve got hackers that want to dig in and have a lot of resources, that they can access this information. It is a big problem. I’m not confirming that that’s what happened, but you’ve got websites out there right now that sell people’s credit cards that have been stolen.
While he didn’t confirm that it actually happened, three leading personal credit-rating agencies acknowledged that files were accessed illegally. They also said that it was done through other firms by someone using the personal data of the victims, and not by hacking their own computers.
Experian, a global information services group, released a statement which said:
This looks to be an isolated situation in which criminals accessed personal credential information through various outside sources, which provided them with sufficient information to illegally access a limited number of individual reports from some US credit reporting agencies. Upon learning of the situation, we took immediate action to freeze the credit files of those victimized by this malicious attack in an effort to minimize impact to those individuals.
Meanwhile, Transunion (the source of Michelle Obama’s credit report) said that its own systems were not hacked or compromised in any way. The perpetrators had considerable amounts of information about the victims, including social security numbers and other sensitive, personal identifying information that enabled them to successfully impersonate the victims over the Internet.
Fine, but let’s go back to the root of the problem – how did these hackers manage to get their hands on information that would allow them to impersonate people?
The FBI and the US Secret Service, which protects the president and his family, both said they were investigating the matter. More to come as the story unfolds.