More than Three.Five million people’s sexual preferences, fetishes and secrets have been exposed after dating site Adult FriendFinder was hacked.
Already, some of the adult website’s customers are being identified by name.
Adult FriendFinder asks customers to detail their interests and, based on those criteria, matches people for sexual encounters. The site, which boasts 64 million members, claims to have “helped millions of people find traditional playmates, swinger groups, threesomes, and a multitude of other alternative fucking partners.”
The information Adult FriendFinder collects is utterly private in nature. When signing up for an account, customers must come in their gender, which gender they’re interested in hooking up with and what kind of sexual situations they desire. Suggestions AdultFriendfinder provides for the “tell others about yourself” field include, “I like my fucking partners to tell me what to do in the bedroom,” “I tend to be kinky” and “I’m willing to attempt some light restrain bondage or blindfolds.”
The hack, which took place in March, was very first uncovered by independent IT security consultant Bev Robb on her blog Teksecurity a month ago. But Robb did not name the site that was hacked. It wasn’t until this week, when England’s Channel Four News reported on the hack, that Adult FriendFinder was named as the victim.
Included in the exposed private 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.
That data is amazingly exposing and potentially bruising.
Andrew Auernheimer, a controversial computer hacker who looked through the files, used Twitter to publicly identify Adult FriendFinder customers, including a Washington police academy commander, an FAA employee, a California state tax worker and a naval intelligence officer who supposedly attempted to cheat on his wifey.
Asked why he was doing this, Auernheimer said: “I went straight for government employees because they seem the easiest to shame.”
Millions of others remain unnamed for now, but anyone can open the files — which remain loosely available online. That could permit anyone to extort Adult FriendFinder customers.
For example, the security consultant Robb reported that one person whose information was hacked was a 62-year-old Hispanic masculine from Fresh Jersey, who worked in advertising and has a preference for the “subporno” forum. That, combined with his username and other account details, gave Robb enough information to Google him, find his real name, and find his social media pages.
The information exposed can be particularly devastating to people living in petite towns, where they are more lightly identified. For example, one person exposed in the hack is a 40-year old welder from a petite Illinois town of a few thousand people. He “will become anybody’s sub” and lied about his age on the site, claiming to be 29.
The breach was carried out by a hacker who goes by the moniker ROR[RG]. In an online hacker forum, he said he blackmailed Adult FriendFinder, telling the site he would expose the data online unless the company paid him $100,000.
On the forum, hackers instantaneously praised ROR[RG], telling they were planning on using the data to attack the victims.
“i am loading these up in the mailer now / i will send you some dough from what it makes / thank you!!” wrote a hacker who goes by “MAPS.”
FriendFinder Networks Inc., parent company of Adult FriendFinder and other adult sites and publications including Penthouse, said in a statement that it had just become aware of the breach, and it is working closely with law enforcement and cyberforensics company Mandiant, a FireEye ( FEYE ) subsidiary.
The company said it doesn’t yet know the total scope of the breach, but it promised to “work vigilantly,” noting that FriendFinder Networks “fully appreciates the seriousness of the issue.”
“We cannot speculate further about this issue, but rest assured, we pledge to take the adequate steps needed to protect our customers if they are affected,” the company said.
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