5 Worst Dating Website Protection Breaches — And Their Ugly Aftermaths
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Posted On: 08/05/2023

5 Worst Dating Website Protection Breaches — And Their Ugly Aftermaths

TrendMicro, a data security and cyber safety solutions company, defines an information violation as “an event whereby info is stolen or taken from something with no knowledge or agreement associated with system’s proprietor.” DigitalGuardian said, since 2005, over 4,500 information breaches were made general public and over 816 million specific documents are broken.

Internet dating is one of the most usual sectors targeted by code hackers. Actually, there’ve been five information breaches which have got an important influence on internet dating naughty sites, using the internet daters, and technologies and protection total. Here you will find the tales also the ramifications of each:

1. AdultFriendFinder 2016: 412 Million Accounts Are Exposed

The biggest dating site information breach in terms of the range customers who had been affected was actually MatureFriendFinder.com in belated 2016. LeakedSource was the first ever to report the story, plus they mentioned hackers went after FriendFinder systems, the father or mother business of AFF, in Oct 2016.

Over 412 million (412,214,295 is specific) FriendFinder user records happened to be exposed, 340 million of them from AdultFriendFinder. The violation impacted Cams.com (62 million records), Penthouse.com (7 million reports), Stripshow.com (1.4 million records), iCams.com (1.1 million reports), and an unknown domain (35,000 reports). Note: FriendFinder always get Penthouse.com but sold it in March 2016 to Global news.

The breach incorporated two decades really worth of customer data, such as email addresses (among them personal, federal government, and armed forces details) and passwords (age.g., 123456 and qwerty).

According to TechCrunch, the hackers supposedly had gotten through a local file inclusion take advantage of, which gave them the means to access most of FriendFinder’s internal sources. Among the list of security weaknesses identified inside violation were that user passwords were kept in plaintext or “hashed” utilizing the SHA1 formula, individual logins for Penthouse.com were kept even with FriendFinder marketed your website, and email messages and passwords had been stored from 15 million people that has removed their particular reports.

FriendFinder vice-president Diana Ballou circulated a statement that browse:

“Over the past many weeks, FriendFinder has gotten many research with regards to possible safety vulnerabilities from several sources. Instantly upon mastering this info, we took a number of steps to review the specific situation and generate best external associates to aid our very own examination. While some these promises became bogus extortion efforts, we performed determine and fix a vulnerability that has been regarding the opportunity to access origin rule through an injection vulnerability. FriendFinder requires the safety of their customer details seriously and can give further revisions as all of our study continues.”

The Aftermath: as you’re able probably picture, with all of the awful hit and the rather lackluster reaction from the group, AdultFriendFinder destroyed a lot of consumers and admiration. Even now people are unable to discuss AdultFriendFinder without talking about this protection violation, that’s actually this site’s second (more about that below).

2. Ashley Madison 2015: 39 Million Members Affected, $11.2 Million Paid to Victims

It all started on July 12, 2015, whenever mother or father business of Ashley Madison, Avid lifetime Media, got a message from a bunch known as Team influence having said that when it don’t closed the site (also their brother site, Established Men), exclusive company and user data would-be released. A week later, Team Impact gave passionate lifestyle Media 1 month to accomplish this.

On July 20, passionate lifetime Media granted a statement that affirmed the breach and mentioned these people were joining forces with Ashley Madison associates, law enforcement, and Cycura, a cyber security firm, to research the breach. 2 days afterwards, Team Impact released the labels of two Ashley Madison people.

The deadline arrived, and Ashley Madison and Established Men remained real time. Thus group Impact leaked 10GB value of user details, including emails (a number of them federal government and military). “we now have explained the fraudulence, deception, and absurdity of ALM and their users. Now everybody reaches see their information… too detrimental to ALM, you promised privacy but don’t deliver,” group Impact stated.

Over the then couple of months, Team influence released a lot more information, business e-mails, internet site source rule, posting tackles, internet protocol address details, user signup dates, and exactly how much money customers had allocated to Ashley Madison. On the list of 39 million users ended up being Josh Duggar, of TLC’s “19 teens and Counting,” exactly who input his profile that he was actually interested in “gender Talk” and a “Bubble Bath for 2,” among other activities.

Hacking and safety specialists learned that Ashley Madison don’t confirm emails when people opted, didn’t have a comprehensive security program for individual passwords, and hardcoded protection recommendations (like API secrets, verification tokens, and SSL personal points) to the website’s supply signal. Not to mention customers just who settled to have their unique reports erased were not in fact erased and the majority of of the female users on the webpage happened to be phony.

The Aftermath: Ashley Madison was hit with a class activity lawsuit, two users dedicated suicide, many customers reported becoming blackmailed, CEO Noel Biderman resigned, and passionate lifetime news (which rebranded to Ruby lifestyle) settled $11.2 million to the data violation subjects. However, not to end up being disregarded may be the confidence that folks missing for the site.

3. AdultFriendFinder 2015: private Info of 3.5 Million Leaked

2016 was not the 1st time AdultFriendFinder was actually hacked — it simply happened in May 2015, as well. Now, Teksecurity was initial outlet because of the news. Not simply were emails and passwords leaked, but usernames, zip codes (or postcodes), internet protocol address details, birthdays, marital statuses, and sexual choices were additionally revealed.

When it had been made familiar with the violation, FriendFinder systems stated the group was examining with law enforcement officials and Mandiant, a cyber forensics business owned by FireEye, which labored on additional significant breaches like Target, JP Morgan Chase, and Sony.

“we can not speculate more about any of it problem, but, certain, we promise to grab the proper strategies needed to protect all of our customers when they impacted,” FriendFinder informed CNN.

Computerworld stated that the hacker ROR[RG] required $100,000 and place the database on the market for 70 bitcoins whenever ransom money wasn’t compensated.

Per CNN, different hackers commended ROR[RG], with one saying, “i are packing these up during the mailer today / i’ll deliver some money from what it helps make / many thanks!!”

Another, Andrew Auernheimer, seemed through the data and began calling completely AFF members with federal government, condition, or military jobs — instance an employee utilizing the Federal Aviation Administration and a state taxation individual in California.

“we moved directly for federal government staff members since they seem easy and simple to shame,” the guy said.

The Aftermath: The lives of 3.5 million everyone was considerably and irreparably changed caused by AdultFriendFinder’s diminished protection. Recall, it wasn’t merely some people’s fundamental personal information that was provided — information about the things they choose to do from inside the bedroom and if they had been cheating on their spouses had been also made community. However, this event failed to frequently damage AdultFriendFinder too-much since the web site still had more than 340 million users only per year next tool.

4. Guardian Soulmates 2017: 27 consumers Report getting Explicit Emails

One on the tiniest dating internet site information breaches ended up being established by Guardian Soulmates in-may 2017. This site revealed that 27 users contacted the team since they received specific email messages that confirmed their unique individual IDs and email addresses were jeopardized. Their times of delivery and bank card info failed to seem to have-been subjected, however.

a spokesperson stated, “our very own continuous investigations point out an individual mistake by our third-party technology service providers, which generated an exposure of a plant of data.”

The Aftermath: The effect the hack had on Guardian Soulmates wasn’t because poor as what we should’ve seen from AdultFriendFinder or Ashley Madison. “We take things of data safety very seriously and get conducted thorough audits as they are confident that no external celebration breached these methods,” an organization representative stated. “we’ve taken suitable actions to make certain this does not take place again.”

5. Yahoo 2013-2014: 3 Billion consumer Accounts Impacted & $350 Million Lost in Verizon Communications Merger

We’re combining Yahoo’s two data breaches into one simply because they occurred relatively near to one another. We are also such as these information breaches on all of our list, overall, because those influenced may have also included members of Yahoo Personals, their online dating sites service.

In 2013, there was a Yahoo protection violation that impacted 1 billion consumers. In 2017, the firm stated it absolutely was in fact 3 billion clients, maybe not 1 billion — causeing this to be the greatest safety breach ever before.

Tragedy hit again in later part of the 2014 whenever 500 million Yahoo reports had been hacked. The organization has since asserted that it actually was a state-sponsored hacker which did it, but this has already been disputed.



Emails, passwords, phone numbers, dates of delivery, and safety questions and solutions were all jeopardized. What’s promising regarding this had been that financial details (e.g., credit card figures) was not taken.

Neither of those breaches happened to be announced until Sept. 2016. Yahoo revealed that group had investigated and thought they would handled the issue, but a securities trade filing in March 2017 shows they didn’t. Inside terms of CSO, “But even as the organization took some remedial activities, including informing 26 consumers targeted when you look at the hack and incorporating brand-new security features, some elderly professionals allegedly did not understand or investigate the event more.”

The Aftermath: On Dec. 15, 2016, Yahoo’s stock dropped 2.5percent just a couple of hrs following the 2013 breach had been disclosed. It was 3 months after development of this 2014 breach smashed. During that time nicely, Verizon Communications was in the middle of $4.83 billion bargain to purchase Yahoo. As a result of the breaches, both companies chose to simply take $350 million off the price.

Has Actually Online Dating Seen Their Last Data Breach? Probably Not

Dating websites are appealing targets for hackers, and it is obvious why. They shop a lot of individual and monetary details, and often their innovation actually that fantastic. Ideally, we are able to all discover some thing through the errors in the companies above. Lessons for all the customer feature don’t use you work mail to sign up for a dating website, and make your own code as hard to understand as can end up being. For any dating sites, it is possible to never have excessively security. Reported by users, it’s a good idea as safe than sorry!

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