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X Factor hack exposes personal data of fame-seeking contestants

Tales of security breaches and Cowell's chest-high britches

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The personal information of more than 250,000 would-be X-Factor contestants may have been exposed after hackers broke into systems maintained by producers of the US edition of the TV talent show.

X Factor applicants' names, email addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers were swiped in the course of a hack attack against US TV network Fox. The data, affecting contestants as young as 12, would be useful for running identity theft and other scams.

In a statement apologising for the breach, Fox Broadcast said it was "working with federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this illegal action". The statement goes on to warn about the possible risk of phishing attacks against X-Factor contestants based of information disclosed by the breach. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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