Personal details belonging to millions of members of online dating site AdultFriendFinder have been exposed in a hack, the company has confirmed. The service, which launched in the U.S. in 1996, describes itself as “one of the world’s largest sex hookup, dating, chat, sexy matches and adult friends sites in the world,” boasting over 64 million members globally.
The security breach, revealed on Thursday by the UK’s Channel 4 News, appears to have involved the theft of highly personal information belonging to at least four million users of the site.
Reporter Geoff White viewed the stolen data on websites frequented by hackers, noting that it’s not only usernames and email addresses that have been exposed – information about users’ sexual orientation and whether they’re interested in cheating on their partner was also visible, he said.
According to White, even former users of the site may have had their details nabbed in the hack, as the Sunnyvale, California company apparently retains personal data even after an account has been deleted. Following the breach, a number of AdultFriendFinder members – both current and former – have already been targeted with virus-laden emails, the report said.
The dating site confirmed the security breach on Thursday, saying in a release, “FriendFinder Networks Inc. has only just been made aware of this potential issue and understands and fully appreciates the seriousness of the issue.”
It said it’d already started working with law enforcement and had launched a “comprehensive” investigation with a leading third-party forensics expert, adding that it was too early to determine the full scope of the incident.
“We cannot speculate further about this issue, but rest assured, we pledge to take the appropriate steps needed to protect our customers if they are affected.” Finally, the company promised to issue timely updates as the investigation progresses.