FriendFinder Website Hacked; Up to 4 Million Affected
One of the world’s largest adult dating websites has reported a major data breach, with up to 4 million members impacted, according to U.K. news station Channel 4, which broke the story.
This breach exposes millions of sexual secrets of its members.asks customers to detail their interests and, based on those criteria, matches people for sexual encounters. According to CNN.com, the site, which boasts 64 million members, claims to have “helped millions of people find traditional partners, swinger groups, threesomes, and a variety of other alternative partners.”
Victims face potential embarrassment or other serious repercussions in addition to the usual potential for identity theft. AdultFriendFinder.com’s parent firm FriendFinder Networks Inc. confirmed to the BBC that it had been hacked and said it is working with law enforcement agencies and computer security forensics firm Mandiant.
The firm said it would be unable to confirm other details at the moment. Leaked data includes sexual preferences; users share sensitive sexual information when they sign up, and whether or not they are open to an extramarital affair, Channel 4 said. Even consumers who’d closed their accounts were caught up in the leak. So were at least some British government officials and members of the British Army, though the site did not elaborate. AdultFriendFinder advertises itself aggressively online.
Channel 4 said it found the data — contained in 15 spreadsheets — as part of broader research into the “dark web,” where stolen data is bought and sold. It doesn’t take much sensitive data for identity thieves to put together a scam or fraud scheme, so users should be on the lookout for any suspicious emails or other signs of identity theft.
Included in the exposed personal information are customers’ email addresses, usernames, passwords, birthdays and zip codes, in addition to their sexual preferences. No credit card data has yet been uncovered as part of the hack.