After Paris Hilton’s Sidekick contents (address book, pictures and notes) were posted on the internet the other day, the million dollar question was: “How did this happen?” Many pundits hinted that Paris actually made the leak herself to gain more publicity–any press is good press.
Brian Williams confirms that wasn’t too far off:
Like many online service providers, T-Mobile.com requires users to answer a “secret question” if they forget their passwords. For Hilton’s account, the secret question was “What is your favorite pet’s name?” By correctly providing the answer, any internet user could change Hilton’s password and freely access her account.
For most people this is a fairly hard guess. But Paris Hilton isn’t like most people and brings her dog Tinkerbell everywhere she goes. Even a pop-culture neophyte could have correctly answered her security question.
This should be an eye opener for other Sidekick users, especially celebrities–have secure passwords AND be wary of “secret” questions. Most secret questions are quite easy to guess with a little research.