FriendFinder Hack Takeaway: Dating Websites Not Immune from Data Breaches

Consumer data breaches are not confined to point-of-sale payment card readers or ATMs. Even online dating sites are fair game.
One of the Internet’s largest adult-dating websites has been hit with a major data breach, potentially compromising the sensitive personal information of some of its 64 million members, the company said in a statement on Friday.

AdultFriendFinder.com, part of Sunnyvale, California-based FriendFinder Networks Inc, said it had contacted law enforcement, including the FBI, and a private investigative team to review the incident.
Apparently, no credit or debit card data was stolen, the company said. However, it doesn’t take much personal data for identity thieves to put together a scam or fraud scheme. So members of the site should be on the lookout for any suspicious emails or other signs of attempted identity theft. Do not respond to suspicious emails or emails of unknown origin, or open any attachments from these emails or texts, data security experts warn.
“It is important to note that, at this time, there is no evidence that any financial information or passwords were compromised,” FFN said in its statement.
Site Disables Search Function
In addition to launching an internal investigation to review and expand existing security protocols and processes, FFN said it is also “temporarily disabling the username search function and masking usernames of any users we believe were affected by the security issue.”
Members will still be able to log-in using their username and password, but the search function will be disabled to protect members privacy.
“We are also in the process of communicating directly to members on how to update their usernames and passwords,” the company said.
Potentially Embarrassing Data Leaked
According to U.K. news station Channel 4, which broke the story, victims of the data breach face potential embarrassment or other serious repercussions because the hack included member information of a highly sensitive sexual nature.
Leaked data includes sexual preferences and other information that users share when they sign up. Member revelations include whether or not they are open to an extramarital affair, Channel 4 said.
Here is the latest security update from FriendFinder Networks.

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