Racy photos of Paris Hilton again spread across the Internet Tuesday — this time accompanied by celebrity phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other information hacked from her mobile phone.
The heiress to the Hilton Hotels fortune, who featured in a sexually explicit videotape posted online in 2003, has now had her star-studded contact list, personal notes and topless self-portraits from her Sidekick II “smart phone” splattered all over the Web.
Movie star Lindsay Lohan, rapper Eminem, singer Christina Aguilera and Hilton’s “Simple Life” co-star Nicole Richie were among dozens of celebrities whose contact information was on hacker sites and discussion boards.
Many of those listed in Hilton’s phone book changed their numbers after receiving a deluge of unwanted calls, according to the New York Post.
“Paris feels badly that this happened and she feels badly that other people have been inconvenienced,” said Gina Hoffman, Hilton’s publicist.
The incident was another black eye for mobile carrier T-Mobile USA Inc., which suffered negative publicity last month after court documents revealed that a hacker had gained access to more than 400 of its customer accounts.
“T-Mobile’s computer forensics and security team is actively investigating to determine how Ms. Hilton’s information was obtained,” the company said in a statement. ”This includes the possibility that someone had access to one of Ms. Hilton’s devices and/or knew her account password.”
T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG declined to give further details.
Several security experts said the hack was likely continued fallout from an earlier intrusion of a T-Mobile database containing customer passwords and other information.
Once this circulated in the hacker underground, it was only a matter of time before someone made embarrassing material from a customer account public, said Richard Bejtlich, author of “The Tao of Network Security Monitoring.”
“Pretty soon you get somebody who decides, ‘I’m going to put this out on the Internet,”’ he said. “They might be five or six people down the food chain.”
Bejtlich said T-Mobile should have warned customers to change their passwords after the initial breach.
In an ironic twist, Hilton has appeared in commercials for the Sidekick II, which allows users to send e-mail and instant messages, browse the Web and snap pictures.
“I’m sure a lot of celebrities are probably throwing their Sidekicks away right now,” said Tristan Henderson, a research assistant professor at Dartmouth College’s Center for Mobile Computing.