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16 September 2005

Paris Hilton Hacker Sent To Jail

A 17 year-old who earlier this year hacked into Paris Hilton's mobile phone has been convicted to an 11-month jail term in juvenile prison, the US Attorney of the District of Massachusetts said in a statement. In the high-profile hack last January, the computer whiz-kid gained access to Hilton's mobile device by hacking into the operator's computer systems. He then published the phone number of numerous celebrities found in the phone's address book, including Cristina Aguilera, Anna Kournikova and Eminem. The 17 year-old pleaded guilty to all charges, including hacking into the internet and telephone providers, together with theft of personal information and its disclosure on the web. He also admitted to making bomb threats against schools. According to Gartner, the data was compromised in one of two ways: someone hacked into the server at T-Mobile where the data resided; or someone stole her password either offline or online through phishing or keystroke-logging malware. "Whatever the method, this incident confirms Gartner's belief that service providers need to take an holistic view of combating fraud and break-ins. They must erect as many walls as possible, using a multi-channel, cross-silo system approach," said Litan. In order to better safeguard customer information, service providers should encrypt data, implement strict systems that manage access to this data and extend data protection methods used for credit card account information to all sensitive information. Gartner also believes that regulators should impose penalties and fines on service providers that do not safeguard sensitive customer data. "While there are some basic steps that consumers can take to protect their data, such as not sharing passwords, customers should not be held accountable for breaches and hacks beyond their control," said Litan. "The guardians of the data have to take steps to protect consumers and other customers."