Hackers Steal Data From Simon Cowell’s X-Factor

Posted: May 7, 2011 in Analysis, computer hackers, Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator, cracking, cyber hackers, Geting Info, hacking websites, hacktivism, security, Steal

Hackers Steal Data From Simon Cowell’s X-Factor

May. 6 2011 – 7:02 am
Simon Cowell at the National Television Awards...Image via Wikipedia

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Fox says the network is COPPA compliant and blocked people under 13 years of age from registering for X Factor audition information on Fox.com. “This is a matter that we take very seriously,” the spokesperson says.

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Cyber criminals have been on stealing spree of late. Not long after the the theft of more than 100 million user account details from Sony, Fox has confirmed that hackers also breached fox.com and obtained a file of details on 73,000 people who requested information about the X-Factor auditions.

The Fox TV show. which is an Americanized version of a British talent program. begins filming today. The winner of the show gets a $5 million recording contract with Cowell’s Syco music label and Sony Music.

A spokesperson for Fox tells me that media reports about the hacking incident incorrectly stated that data for 250,000 people had been compromised and that the correct number was “about 73,000.” They added that the data, which was stolen last week, did not include financial information, social security numbers or user names and passwords.

“We took immediate action to stop the illegal intrusion and began working with federal authorities,” said Gaude Paez of Fox. “We’ve [sent] emails to impacted registrants to notify them of the unauthorised access and providing [sic] them information to help them guard against spam and phishing.”

Carole Therelaut of Naked Security points out that the data breach comes after the X-Factor changed its rules in the U.S. to allow children as young as 12 to enter its competition, unnervingly putting personal data on pre-teens in the hands of faceless hackers.

Cowell’s troubles come amid a wave of cyber security issues making the news this week. In entertainment, the French DJ David Guetta has reportedly employed an ex-Pentagon investigator to look into the theft by hackers of his new single. According to BBC Newsbeat, Guetta says parts of the song “Where Them Girls At” featuring Nicki Minaj were stolen by a hacker who added their own production and posted it online, claiming it was Guetta’s.

Yesterday it emerged that Last Pass, a service that syncs with browsers to let you control a variety of passwords with one master password, had asked its users to change their master passwords after discovering a potential breach to its database. In its latest blog post Last Pass said the issue affects roughly 0.5% of users.  Read PC World’s interview with the CEO of Last Pass here.

Sony is meanwhile offering American customers affected by a massive security breach, $1 million-insurance policies and a year of identity theft protection, according to Bloomberg. It comes after 101.6 million user accounts on Sony’s PlayStation Network and the Sony Online Entertainment network for gamers were compromised by hackers.

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