8220,I deleted my account, so I thought the information had gone.

Hackers have struck one of the world’s largest internet dating websites, leaking the very sensitive sexual information of almost four million users onto the web.

The stolen gegevens exposes the sexual preferences of users, whether they’re gay or straight, and even indicates which ones might be seeking extramarital affairs. Ter addition, the hackers have exposed email addresses, usernames, dates of birth, postal codes and unique internet addresses of users’ computers.

Channel Four News has bot investigating the cyber underworld, discovering which websites have bot hacked and exposing the trade te individual information of millions of people through so-called “dark web” sites.

Secretive forum

The investigation led to a secretive forum ter which a hacker nicknamed ROR[RG] posted the details of users of Adult FriendFinder. The webpagina boasts 63 million users worldwide and claims more than 7 million British members. It bills itself spil a “thriving hook-up community”, and spil a result users often share sensitive sexual information when they sign up.

The information of Three.9m Adult FriendFinder members has bot leaked, including those who told the webpagina to delete their accounts.

Shaun Harper is one of those whose details have bot published. “The webpagina seemed OK, but when I got into it I realised it wasn’t indeed for mij, I wasgoed looking for something longer term. But by that time I’d already given my information. You couldn’t get into the webpagina without handing overheen information.

“I deleted my account, so I thought the information had gone. Thesis sites are meant to be secure.”

Spam emails

Within hours of the gegevens being leaked, hackers on the forum said they intended to klapper victims with spam emails, and Mr Harper has bot targeted with virused emails since his information wasgoed made public.

Online crime experts believe the after the initial spam email campaign, hackers will now start trawling through the gegevens for potential blackmail targets. The spreadsheets contain addresses linked to dozens of government and armed services personnel, including members of the British Army.

“Where you’ve got names, dates of birth, ZIP codes, then that provides an chance to actually target specific individuals whether they be te government or healthcare for example, so you can profile that person and send more targeted blackmail-type emails,” says Charlie McMurdie, a cybercrime specialist for PwC and former head of the Metropolitan Police’s electronic crime unit.

The vuurlijn pagina of Adult FriendFinder, which is based ter California, features photos of dozens of attractive youthful women. Yet the hacked gegevens, contained te 15 spreadsheets, exposes how few females show up to use Adult FriendFinder.

Among the 26,939 users with a UK email address, for example, there are just 1,596 who identified spil female: a ratio of one woman to every 16 dudes.

FriendFinder Networks Inc, which wields Adult FriendFinder, told Channel Four News:

“FriendFinder Networks Inc… understands and fully appreciates the seriousness of the kwestie.

“We have already begun working closely with law enforcement and have launched a comprehensive investigation with the help of leading third-party forensics experienced.

“We pledge to take the suitable steps needed to protect our customers if they are affected.”

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