Manhattan- The list of names continues to grow and today Mitty Romney, Tiger Woods and Sarah Palin joined other high profile hack targets like First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Even FBI Director Robert Mueller didn’t escape mention from a website with a frightening image greeting visitors on its homepage. The site was traced to Russian hackers and claims to have the social security numbers, credit reports and other financial information of numerous celebrities and prominent politicians, but how did they get it and why?
Joe DeMarco, a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York who investigated these types of cyber crimes said, “There could be a range of motivations. One motivation could just be simply the bragging rights that the site operators are looking for. If they are able to say that we actually have the real social security numbers of these government officials, then it kind of proves that they have skill and aptitude in this area.”
DeMarco said this latest hack job is proof anyone can easily fall victim and perpetrators often start by only obtaining a victim’s social security number and that’s all they need to collect a wide array of financial records and data.
“Unfortunately, there’s no real one silver bullet that will prevent what happened to the First Lady or Joe Biden from happening to any one of us,” said DeMarco.
However, DeMarco said there are steps we can all take as extra precautions. For one, put as little critical, sensitive and personal information out into the internet when possible. Internet users should also always update and change passwords and finally, check bank and credit card statements regularly.
As for the high profile hacker investigation, officials have still not verified all of the information posted to the website is indeed accurate, but credit agencies Equifax and TransUnion confirmed a breach of information.