In the latest celebrity hacking scandal, the personal data and financial details of several public figures including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton was illegally posted to a Russian website.
The FBI and Los Angeles Police Department are investigating several cases of doxxing, a new cybercrime in which information about a person is obtained or discovered based on a limited number of clues, the FBI said. Doxxing isn't a case of identity theft, but it does leave victims vulnerable to future cases of identity fraud when personal information is published.
Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, even celebrities, government leaders and law enforcement officers. The FBI and Los Angeles Police Department are currently investigating several cases of doxxing, a new prankster trend. In this case, the private information of several public figures, was made illegally available on a website.
The private information made available includes Social Security numbers, mortgage amounts, credit card information, banking information and credit reports. In a few cases, compromising photos were revealed.
The website that contained this illegal information has an Internet URL address suffix assigned to the Soviet Union, and did not list where or how the information was accessed, according to USA Today.
Public figures often complain about how much of their personal information is made public. But they are covered under the same laws as all other civilians. For example, financial information discussed in court cases like child custody disputes and divorce is public information unless sealed by a judge, even if the case involves a celebrity.
This isn't the first time celebrities have been hacked. A year ago Christopher Chaney pleaded guilty to hacking the email addresses of celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail in December.