Hacked Celebrity Data Came from Credit Bureaus

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Bloomberg's Jordan Robertson reports that credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion have confirmed that hackers accessed their users' data, leading to the recent high-profile publication of several celebrities' personal information.

The documents published online include TransUnion credit reports on Michelle Obama, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Beyonce and others.

Equifax spokesman Tim Klein told Bloomberg, "We are aware of recent media reports pertaining to unauthorized access to files belonging to high-profile individuals. Equifax can confirm that fraudulent and unauthorized access to four consumer credit reports has occurred."

Similarly, Experian spokeman Gerry Tschopp told Bloomberg, "Upon learning of this 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."

According to Bloomberg, the attacks were extremely straightforward -- the hackers simply gathered personal information on their targets from other sources, then used that data to trick the credit bureaus' online portals into providing them with access to the celebrities' credit reports.

"I think we can all feel confident that the authorities will be keen to identify those responsible for the security breach as soon as possible -- especially as those exposed include the head of the Los Angeles police force Charlie Beck and FBI Director Robert Mueller," writes Sophos' Graham Cluley.