Seventeen celebrities and politicians have been targeted, but police have not uncovered a motive
A growing list of celebrities have been hacked (TMZ first reported 12, then 14, but the recent count is 17), including Michelle Obama, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. Unlike many other high-profile celebrity hacking incidents in recent memory, which include the release of George W. Bush’s emails and photos of paintings, the Russian hackers doxxed the stars, meaning that they outed the stars by publishing personally identifiable information available on public record. But the hackers also published sensitive information, including social security numbers, bank statements and more.
The full list of victims, according to the hacker’s Web site:
Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian, Joe Biden, Robert Mueller (FBI Director), Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder (U.S. Attorney General), Charlie Beck (LAPD Chief), Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Jay Z, Beyonce, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears,Sarah Palin, Hulk Hogan, Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Web site hosting the information at first looks like a parody of what one would imagine a hacker’s site to look like: The main page is titled “The Secret Files” with a black background, neon green font, a picture of what appears to be a Zombie and music from Showtime’s “Dexter” plays in the background on the site’s subpages. But so far, it appears to be real: the doxxed information matches those in public records, and authorities are taking the attack seriously. The LAPD released the following statement on March 11: “LAPD detectives are investigating the recent disclosure of Chief Beck’s personal information. Apparently this is not necessarily a hacking incident. It is called ‘doxxing.’ This has happened to the Chief on two other occasions prior to this in a similar nature post Occupy LA. We are not at liberty to discuss the others mentioned in the web post. There will be no further comments or press conference on this matter.”
Authorities are still unclear how the group accessed the private information or why this particular group of people was targeted.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com. More Prachi Gupta.
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