(In)security: Celebs, politicians hacked; U.S. calls out China over cyberattacks

Security issues, from Los Angeles to Washington to China:

• What do Beyonce, Michele Obama, Mel Gibson, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck have in common? They’ve been hacked along with a handful of other high-profile celebrities and politicians. Their personal and financial information — including Social Security numbers in some cases, as well as mortgage balances and credit histories — was published on a website that appeared to have originated in Russia, celebrity gossip site TMZ first reported.

A Twitter profile linked to the site included an anti-police message in Russian, according to USA Today, which also said the FBI and LAPD were investigating. The LAPD chief thought he might have been included by the hackers because of ex-cop Christopher Dorner’s manifesto against the police department, the Los Angeles Times reports. Dorner, who killed four people, including two police officers, and injured three others in retaliation for his firing from the LAPD, was found dead in a cabin after a shootout with law enforcement last month. According to the LAT, Donner had praised the work of Anonymous, the activist hackers — who as far as we can tell have not taken responsibility for this round of hacks.

• In other cybersecurity news, the United States has for the first time publicly called out China over the hacking of U.S. government agencies businesses. Monday, National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon asked the Chinese government to agree to “acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace,” according to the New York Times. Last month, the NYT reported that a unit of the Chinese army was tied to many of the online attacks against U.S. entities dating back to 2006. (See Cybersecurity: Chinese hackers, Eric Schmidt takes on China and CISPA’s return.)

China maintains that it has no official involvement in the hackings. Recently, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi reportedly said in a speech that China has been hacked, too, and that the Chinese “oppose cyberspace becoming a new battlefield, and to using the Internet as a new tool to interfere in another country’s internal affairs.” However, China is willing to talk with the United States, Reuters reports today.

 

 

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