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“Until the investigation is completed, it will be difficult to determine with certainty the full scope of the incident, but we will continue to work vigilantly to address this potential issue and will provide updates as we learn more from our investigation,” the company said in a statement.
The leaked data includes email addresses, usernames, dates of birth, postcodes and IP addresses of users’ computers, as well as their sexual preferences and whether they are seeking extramarital affairs, according to Channel 4.
Adult Friend Finder, a leading dating and sex website, has admitted its systems have been breached by hackers, leaking detailed personal information on millions of users.
The site, a sex-oriented spin-off of dating website Friend Finder.com, has an estimated 64 million members in all, including more than 7 million British members, and is ranked as one of the US top 100 websites.
“Depending on the type of information that is compromised this data can be used to link aliases to other accounts via email or other shared attribute and unveil connections to accounts that were not seen until now.
The site’s parent company, Friend Finder Networks, said it was alerted to the hack after an investigation by Channel 4 found that the details of 3.9 million Adult Friend Finder users had been posted on a hacker website.
The company said it appreciated the “seriousness” of the incident and had begun an investigation in cooperation with law enforcement authorities and forensics firm Mandiant.
As more data is breached, this information can be sold in underground markets and can create a very vivid profile of an individual,” said Ken Westin, senior security analyst at Tripwire.
“When dating information is compromised it can be used to embarrass individuals, which can lead to blackmail as well as highly targeted phishing campaigns.
One affected user contacted by the network said he had told the site to delete his data after initially signing up, and had never used the service.The user has since been targeted with spam emails containing malicious code.