Adult Friend Finder Hacked: Sex Secrets of 4 Million People Exposed
Many people who enjoy using the Internet to search for casual relationships in confidence got some very bad news this week: Adult Friend Finder has been hacked, and the private personal information and sexual preferences of millions of people has been published for the world to see.
Adult Friend Finder bills itself as a "Dating, Hookup, and Sex" community. The site has over 60 million users around the world: the data leak has impacted roughly 4 million of those users, according to Channel 4 News in Britain.
This leak is particularly bad for two reasons:
1. The level of detail of the stolen information
It's been reported that hackers have access to the names, dates of birth, email addresses, and even postal codes of users of the site. This information makes it easy to identify specific individuals who are using the Adult Friend Finder website.
2. The nature of the information
Any time someone's personal information gets stolen, we usually think about the financial repercussions. An identity theft can lead to months or even years of effort attempting to get back lost funds and clean up a credit report. In this particular case, however, the details could deal a severe blow to victims in a different way: striking at their reputation.
Adult Friend Finder requires some very personal information about sexual orientation and sexual preference from users who are signing up for the site. Many believe that hackers will soon start sifting through the data to find targets for blackmail: people like police officers, high-ranking members of the military, and government officials.
Why Adult Friend Finder Was Hacked
News of a prominent adult dating site getting hacked was first reported back in April by the TekSecurity Blog. Allegedly the site owed the friend of a hacker with the nickname ROR[RG] some money, which caused him to steal personal data and post it on a secret Internet forum.
Victims of the hack are being advised to change their password, but there is not much else that can be done at this early stage. Adult Friend Finder is currently working with Mandiant, a major cybersecurity company based in northern Virginia, to help learn more about the leak and safeguard the site for the future.
A data leak is always a painful reminder of just how unsafe information on the Internet usually is. In this specific case, it's also a reminder of how dishonest some are: it's been reported that many of the people affected by the hack were married and looking to have an affair.
How a Private Investigator Can Help
If you are concerned about someone that you are romantically involved with, a good quality private investigator can help in a number of ways. They can conduct a complete background check to determine what the person's criminal history is like. They can also offer surveillance services to see if someone is having an affair or being dishonest with their partner.
While modern encryption technology has improved greatly over the years, there are still many flaws with the way that companies handle sensitive data. The only way to absolutely guarantee that your private information does not get hacked is to not put it on the Internet in the first place. If you're looking for a safer, more confidential way to learn more about a potential mate, hiring a private investigator is a great option.