Kiss’ Gene Simmons’ music piracy comments ‘made him a target for hackers’

Web security expert Graham Cluley tells NME bands should be wary of cyber attacks

Bands need to be more vigilant against cyber attacks, technology expert Graham Cluley has warned.

The move comes after Lady Gaga, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons and Amy Winehouse‘s official websites were all recently targeted by hackers.

Cluley, senior technology consultant at web security firm Sophos, claims attacks on artists are on the increase because of a rise in politically motivated hacking groups.

He told NME:

We have seen a rise in the last year of ‘hacktivism’, hacking groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec who hack for political reasons or because they have an issue with somebody. Sometimes entertainment figures have suffered as a result because people find it entertaining.

Cluley added: “In Gene Simmons‘ case he was was quite outspoken regarding peer to peer file sharing and people who pirated music and that obviously angered a lot of people who are part of that community.”

Yesterday, Kevin George Poe, who was a member of hacking group Anonymous, was arrested for bombarding the Kiss bassist’s website for five days in October 2010.

In the wake of the case, Cluley has urged bands and artists to step up their security and close any loopholes.

“They clearly need to get their website written securely and ensure whoever is running it is up to date with the latest security patches. The artists need to be careful about their passwords too,” he explained.

“It always helps to have a back up of any website that has been defaced because they should be able to restore it to normal.”