NakedSecurity reported that Adult FriendFinder, a website advertising itself as a way for people to "find friends, sex, flings and hookups," has had a serious data breach. Millions of people who thought they were using a discreet service to find casual sex have had their private data exposed online - including personal e-mails, sexual orientation and whether they were looking to cheat on their partners. There was an audible worldwide gulping noise as the news traveled quickly amongst users of the website.
3.9 million users of Adult FriendFinder had their information published on a hacker forum on the Dark Web - the shady, anonymous part of the Internet hidden by strong encryption that has become (amongst other things) a haven for cybercriminals.
Among the accounts exposed were e-mail addresses for military service members and government workers, who could become blackmail targets.
FriendFinder Networks Inc. - the parent company of Adultfriendfinder.com - acknowledged a "potential data security issue," and said it has hired a security consultant to investigate.
Phishing e-mails to the addresses revealed have apparently already started. Worse, there's a real potential for the exposed users to be extorted for money, or doxed - where their information is exposed online for the purpose of intimidation or public shaming.
FriendFinder Networks, Inc. claims it has more than 600 million registered users on 40,000 websites in its network. I'm sure there are a lot of anxious users out there, especially the married folks looking for casual hookups. It put me in mind of the movie Shawshank Redemption, where the warden had a framed quotation hand-stitched by his wife on his office wall: "His judgment cometh and that right soon." True for Warden Norton - perhaps true for those philanderers who put their trust in an online hookup site.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology