The Internet is abuzz this morning with the exciting contents of Paris Hilton's T-Mobile Sidekick. It appears that someone hacked into the T-Mobile system and was able to get the contents of her address book, notepad and the photos she had take with the gadget. Most of the links earlier today were to the photos themselves, which are not "safe for work".
Most of the discussion about it suggests that it may be related to the recent hacking of T-Mobile's systems (see PIPEDA and Canadian Privacy Law: Incident(s): Hacker breaches T-Mobile systems, reads US Secret Service email), but it could just have easily been a result of someone guessing her password and accessing the system via the T-Mobile login page. I wouldn't be surprised if her password was "password".
This incident does, however, highlight the vulnerability of personal information when it is in possession of third parties. Our e-mail and address books are held by Yahoo! or Hotmail or whoever. Our voice mail resides on some telco server and our instant messages are archived. It used to be that the bad guys had to break into our homes and offices for this stuff. Now they just have to hack into one of dozens of systems. (See Schneier on Security: T-Mobile Hack).
For (safe for work) coverage of the incident, see Paris Hilton's Sidekick gets hacked. What is T-Mobile going to do about it? - Engadget - www.engadget.com and Hackers post Paris Hilton's address book online - Computerworld:
"Hackers post Paris Hilton's address book online
A copy of her T-Mobile USA cell phone address book appeared on the Web
News Story by Paul Roberts
FEBRUARY 21, 2005 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - Hackers penetrated the crystalline ranks of Hollywood celebrity Saturday, posting the cellular phone address book of hotel heiress and celebrity Paris Hilton on a Web page and passing the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of some of Tinsel Town's hottest stars into the public realm.
A copy of Hilton's T-Mobile USA Inc. cell phone address book appeared on the Web site of a group calling itself 'illmob.' The address book contains information on over 500 of Hilton's acquaintances, including super celebrities such as Eminem and Christina Aguilera. It is not known how the information was obtained, but the release of the contact book may be further fallout from a hack of T-Mobile's servers that came to light in January...."