Hackers Steal Personal Data of Celebrities, Politicians

March 13, 2013, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Credit reporting agencies TransUnion and Equifax have confirmed that hackers have gained unauthorized access to users’ personal information, including some of the leading political and entertainment figures in America.

The hackers obtained the Social Security numbers, credit scores and birthdates of these celebrities and published the information on a website.

The celebrities reportedly included Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, Donald Trump, Jay Z, Ashton Kutcher, Beyonce and Paris Hilton.

TransUnion said the hackers used personal information such as social security numbers and other sensitive information to access their credit history.

Equifax said hackers collected personal details on their targets from other sources, then used AnnualCreditReport.com to access the target’s credit reports.

AnnualCreditReport.com provides consumers free access to their own credit report once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. AnnualCreditReport.com is jointly operated by these three credit reporting companies.

“We are aware of recent media reports pertaining to unauthorized access to files belonging to high-profile individuals,” Tim Klein, a spokesman for Equifax, wrote in an e-mailed statement. “Equifax can confirm that fraudulent and unauthorized access to four consumer credit reports has occurred.”  Equifax said it immediately took action to freeze the credit files and minimize the impact of the individuals of those victimized by the attack.

If your personal or financial information has been compromised, contact your banks, financial institutions and credit card issuers. They can review and stop any transactions made by another person. Also get a copy of your credit report to monitor any accounts that may have been opened in your name. Set up a fraud alert at Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Fraud alerts last for three months and a creditor must call you for any new request to issue credit. You can freeze your account to stop anyone from opening a line of credit in your name.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 13, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.