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13 Mar, 2013 19:27

Secret Service and FBI investigating leaked Obama financial records

Secret Service and FBI investigating leaked Obama financial records

The FBI, Secret Service and LAPD are all investigating a website that earlier in the week began publishing financial records and other sensitive information pertaining to some of the biggest names in both Washington and Hollywood.

The website Exposed.su posted the Social Security Numbers, home addresses and phone numbers to an array of influential Americans on Monday, including first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, actor Mel Gibson, US Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Robert Mueller and others. Additionally, the hackers have posted documents that they perpetrate to be legitimate credit reports for many of the victims, including singer Beyoncé, rap artist Jay-Z and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, among others.

When RT first ran a report on the website on Monday, less than a dozen profiles were made public containing leaked information about the individuals. By Wednesday, though, the website’s administrators had published a total of 22 profiles on their site, including dossiers on Donald Trump, former presidential contender Mitt Romney and others.

"We'll take steps to find out who did this, and if they're within the boundaries of the United States, we'll prosecute them,” LAPD Beck told reporters on Tuesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose director was one of the nearly two-dozen individuals targeted so far on the site, has also confirmed that the agency has opened a probe into the hack, as have the Secret Service, the law enforcement agency best known for protecting the president but that is also tasked with matters relating to financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents and access device fraud.

Equifax, a credit reporting agency, confirmed this week that hackers gained "fraudulent and unauthorized access" to the financial files of four high-profile targets, but declined to comment much further.

"We are aware of recent media reports pertaining to unauthorized access to files belonging to high-profile individuals. Equifax can confirm that fraudulent and unauthorized access to four consumer credit reports has occurred," Tim Klein, a spokesman for Equifax, said in a statement.

A spokesperson for a separate credit agency, TransUnion, tells Forbes that they “immediately launched an investigation” within moments of hearing about the leaked information.

During an interview with ABC News filmed on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama said he was aware of the incident and that the appropriate authorities were investigating the file posted on the website that is alleged to contain sensitive information pertaining to the first lady.

"We should not be surprised that if we've got hackers that want to dig in and have a lot of resources, that they can access this information," Obama said. "Again, not sure how accurate but ... you've got web sites out there that tell people's credit card info. That's how sophisticated they are."