The hack of dating site Adult FriendFinder has potentially subjected nearly 4 million people, including feds, to the risk of blackmail and identity theft.
“Andrew Auernheimer, a controversial computer hacker who looked through the files, used Twitter to publicly identify Adult FriendFinder customers, including a Washington police academy commander, an FAA employee, a California state tax worker and a naval intelligence officer who supposedly tried to cheat on his wife,” CNN reports.
Asked why he was outing agency personnel, Auernheimer said: "I went straight for government employees because they seem the easiest to shame."
The files remain freely available online. That could allow anyone to extort Adult FriendFinder customers. It is relatively easy to attach names to accounts by Googling the personal information listed in the files, security researchers say.
Channel 4, which first named FriendFinder as a data breach victim, said among the 3.9 million people affected are individuals who told the site to delete their accounts.
A hacker who goes by the moniker ROR[RG] took credit for the breach. In an online hacker forum, the attacker claimed to have blackmailed Adult FriendFinder, telling the site the data would be exposed online unless the company paid $100,000.
On the forum, hackers praised ROR[RG], saying they were planning on using the data to attack the dating site registrants.
FriendFinder Networks Inc., parent company of Adult FriendFinder and other adult sites and publications including Penthouse, said in a statement that it had just become aware of the breach.
FriendFinder advertises that it has “helped millions of people find traditional partners, swinger groups, threesomes, and a variety of other alternative partners."
When signing up for an account, customers must enter their gender, which gender they're interested in hooking up with and what kind of sexual situations they desire.
The personal information compromised includes customers' email addresses, usernames, passwords, birthdays and zip codes, in addition to their sexual preferences.