Hackers ‘expose celebrities’

The police’s electronic crime squad is reportedly on standby following an unprecedented cyber offensive by a group of hackers who earlier this week sent out countless copies of an e-mail message that allegedly contains photographs and personal details of well-known singers and soccer players. By late last night police had not received any orders to investigate the case, which on the surface appears rather odd given that the uploading of such personal information on the Internet is usually preceded by an attempt to blackmail the individuals featured. The e-mail message reportedly contains four attachments containing electronic copies of certain soccer players’ contracts, the bank account details of certain singers as well as personal photographs of celebrities and some of their e-mail exchanges. The e-mail – titled «Greek celebrities exposed» – was distributed on Tuesday by a group calling itself Hack 4 Fame. It was unclear how many recipients the e-mail was sent out to. Experts told Kathimerini yesterday that such material is usually distributed electronically or uploaded onto the Internet by would-be blackmailers. «Usually the goal is profit,» Vangelis Ouzounis, a senior expert at the European Network and Information Security Agency told Kathimerini. «The perpetrators target the weakest link in the chain of telecommunications, namely the user.» He said the usual pattern in such cases was for additional victims to be exposed in a similar way, adding that such material is usually distributed by cell phone. Ouzounis noted that cell phones were likely to be exploited to a greater extent by hackers and blackmailers in the future. «The Internet is a restricted network. Imagine what will happen over the next few years when the great bulk of our communications and personal data will pass into the much more exposed environment of third-generation technology via cell phones,»Ouzounis said.