Michelle Obama's personal data hacked, leaked

Personal financial data belonging to Michelle Obama has been leaked. Photo / AP
Personal financial data belonging to Michelle Obama has been leaked. Photo / AP

US authorities are investigating after hackers leaked personal financial data apparently belonging to first lady Michelle Obama, the head of the FBI and several A-list celebrities.

Hackers using a Russian web address published what they said were the credit reports of Obama, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck.

They also posted social security numbers and other personal information relating to Vice President Joe Biden and former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Entertainment stars Beyonce and husband Jay-Z, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears also saw details leaked, as did tycoon Donald Trump, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and body-building actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"We are investigating, but we will not comment due to ... an ongoing investigation," said Max Milien, spokesman for the Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the president and his family.

FBI spokeswoman Jennifer Shearer said the agency was investigating the matter, though declined to give any more details or confirm the identities of the victims.

The credit reports detail personal credit card histories, mortgage loan and other financial activities, and come from prominent credit rating firms Experian, Transunion, Equifax and CreditKarma.

Although they are supposed to be restricted, financial companies vetting individuals for loans and credit cards have easy access to the records.

Individuals can also obtain their own credit records online.

Equifax said four of its files were accessed via an online credit report service using the "personally identifiable information" (PII) that individuals can themselves use to access the reports.

"Our initial investigation shows the perpetrators had the PII of the individuals whose files were accessed and were therefore able to pass the required authentication measures in place," the firm said.

The hackers posted Equifax credit reports for Holder, Beck, Schwarzenegger and Jay-Z.

Transunion and Experian did not reply to requests for comment.

- AFP

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