Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Online leak reveals celeb finances

Jay-Z is among 11 celebrities and government officials whose private financial information appears to have been posted online (AP)

Authorities and celebrities are grappling with how to respond to a website that posted what appears to be private financial information about top US government figures and stars such as Jay-Z and Mel Gibson.

Los Angeles police is investigating how the social security number, address and a credit report of its chief ended up on the site.

The website also targeted stars such as Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. Info posted about US vice president Joe Biden and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton did not include credit reports, but contained addresses and other sensitive information.

Social security numbers posted on Gibson, Jay-Z and others matched records in public databases.

The site, which bears an internet suffix originally assigned to the Soviet Union, expanded throughout yesterday to add entries on singer Britney Spears, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and others.

It did not state how the information was obtained or why the 11 people targeted on the site were selected, describing the records only as "secret files".

A Twitter profile linked to the site and created after its existence was first reported by celebrity website TMZ included an anti-police message in Russian.

Several of the purported credit reports appear to have been generated last week.

Representatives for each person targeted either declined to comment on the accuracy of the information that was posted, or they did not return messages seeking comment.

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