The personal details of 250,000 applicants to the US television show The X Factor may have been compromised following a database hack of celebrity judge Simon Cowell.
According to monstersandcritics.com, hackers broke into Cowell's network and stole more than 250,000 personal details of entrants to the US version of the talent show.
Affected entrants were sent an email warning them of the breach and that names, email addresses, postal codes, phone numbers, date of birth and gender may have been accessed.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and are working with federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this illegal action. If you receive an email that appears to be from Fox.com or The X Factor asking for personal information, please delete it, as it did not come from us,” the email said.
Authentication vendor SecurEnvoy technical director, Andy Kemshall, said cyber criminals were building information profiles rather than immediately committing fraud.
“Previously, frauds were card-centric and built around opportunistic database hacks, but the sheer volume of the system hacks in recent months suggests that there is a longer-term strategy involved," Kemshall said.
“Our observations suggest that this data is being compiled into one or more databases, meaning that low-level frauds can be carried out on a steady basis, bursting into periods of high activity when the people's debit or credit card details become available.”