412 Million Users Exposed In Adult Friend Finder, Penthouse Breach

16 million deleted accounts are among the victims in breach that’s ‘ten times worse’ than that of Ashley Madison.

Eighteen months after 4 million of its users’ accounts were exposed, adult dating and pornography company Friend Finder Networks (FFN) has been hit by another doxing attack — this one a hundred times larger. Over 412 million accounts — including 16 million “deleted” accounts — were leaked from FFN sites, including AdultFriendFinder.com, Penthouse.com, Stripshow.com, Cams.com, and iCams.com.  

Although the size of the breach is far greater, the nature of the data is less intimate than the previous FFN breach. This time, email addresses, passwords, dates of last visits, browser information, IP addresses, and site membership status were revealed, reports The Guardian, citing data breach monitoring service Leaked Source. Last year’s breach also included users’ dates of birth, postal codes, sexual preferences, and whether they were seeking extramarital affairs.

According to Leaked Source, reports The Guardian: “‘Passwords were stored by Friend Finder Networks either in plain visible format or SHA1 hashed (peppered). Neither method is considered secure by any stretch of the imagination.'”

Among the leaked accounts are some FFN should not necessarily have had to lose in the first place. In addition to the 16 million “deleted” accounts is the Penthouse.com user database, which FFN had access to, despite having sold Penthouse.com in February.  

Included in the leak were 96 million Hotmail accounts, 78,301 US military email accounts, and 5,650 US government accounts.

From The Guardian: “It is also unclear who perpetrated the hack. A security researcher known as Revolver claimed to find a flaw in Friend Finder Networks’ security in October, posting the information to a now-suspended Twitter account and threatening to ‘leak everything’ should the company call the flaw report a hoax.”

“This is criminal negligence, as it’s not the first time,” says Stu Sjouerman, CEO of security awareness training company KnowBe4, in a statement. “AdultFriendFinder has failed to learn from their mistakes and now 412 million people are high-value targets for blackmail, phishing attacks, and other cybercrime. This is ten times worse than the Ashley Madison hack. Wait for a raft of class-action lawsuits.”

Last July, another pornography and adult hook-up site, Ashley Madison, suffered a doxing attack that exposed 37 million users accounts. Phishers capitalized on that attack. Sjouerman says that when KnowBe4 sent its customers fake phishing emails with lures related to the Ashley Madison breach, 4% of users clicked.

For more information, see The Guardian.    

Dark Reading’s all-day virtual event Nov. 15 offers an in-depth look at myths surrounding data defense and how to put business on a more effective security path. 

Dark Reading’s Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

More Insights