Jerry Sandusky is Latest Victim of Celebrity Data Posting

By: USA Today/AP Email
By: USA Today/AP Email

(USA Today) - The Russian website that made headlines this week by posting possibly stolen financial data of celebrities and officials, including first lady Michelle Obama, has claimed a victim of another stripe: convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky.

Wednesday, the website Exposed.su posted what was labeled as a credit report of the former Penn State assistant football coach, who was sentenced in October to at least 30 years in prison for sexually abusing young boys.

The credit report, which has not been verified by USA TODAY, lists a Social Security number as well as account numbers and other information on credit card accounts, charge accounts and a home equity line of credit.

The FBI, Secret Service and the Los Angeles Police Department are investigating the possible data theft, which may have included more than two dozen celebrities and government officials, including Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, Mitt Romney, Tiger Woods and Beyonce.

Other victims: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

A spokesman for one of the largest U.S. credit bureaus, Tim Klein of Equifax, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that an initial investigation showed hackers had accessed the credit bureau's system by entering personal details about their victims to impersonate them.

Representatives for Experian, Equifax and TransUnion said they were cooperating with the criminal investigation, the Associated Press reported.

Much of the information posted online can be found from other sources, such as property records.

The incident has drawn responses from Congress and President Obama.

In an ABC News interview that went online Tuesday, Obama said that he could not confirm whether the first lady's credit report was released but that hackers pose a big threat.

"We should not be surprised that if you've got hackers who want to dig in and devote a lot of resources, that they can access people's private information," Obama said.

At a hearing Wednesday, House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the leaks of financial information were "just the beginning of the problem" when it comes to the vulnerability of U.S. computer networks.

"The truth is that all citizens are vulnerable to these kinds of cyber-attacks," Goodlatte said.


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