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Hospitality exchange service Couchsurfing experiences email list mayhem

Network intrusion; Unauthorized use of system administrator privileges

‪The company’s distribution system was hacked right before messages endorsing a rival “sleep with a stranger” site were sent to many of its one million members.

The email headed "Site Improvements" appeared to prompt recipients towards the rival paid service Airbnb.

‪CouchSurfing hosts and guests do not exchange money.

“Indications are that the attempted XSRF attack (cross-site request forgery) was not successful,” the Register reports.

Couchsurfing declined to on whether the offending emails pushed maliciouscode.

In a statement on its support site, ‪the company "apologised for any confusion" the incident may have caused.

Couchsurfing said that "member data was not exposed.”




August 26, 2014

reported by

The Register

number affected


location of breach




location of perpetrators


date breach occurred

August 15, 2014

date breach detected


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