One of the Internet’s largest adult dating websites has suffered a major data breach, with up to 4 million members impacted, according to U.K. news station Channel 4, which broke the story today. Victims face potential embarrassment or other serious repercussions in addition to the usual potential for identity theft.
AdultFriendFinder.com’s parent firm FriendFinder Networks Inc. confirmed to the BBC that it had been hacked and said it is working with law enforcement agencies and computer security forensics firm Mandiant. The firm said it would be unable to confirm other details at the moment.
Leaked data includes sexual preferences; users share sensitive sexual information when they sign up, and whether or not they are open to an extramarital affair, Channel 4 said. Even consumers who’d closed their accounts were caught up in the leak. So were at least some British government officials and members of the British Army, though the site did not elaborate.
AdultFriendFinder advertises itself aggressively online. Its Google search results promise users can “Find a F### buddy for online sex, adult dating, and one night stands.”
Channel 4 said it found the data — contained in 15 spreadsheets — as part of broader research into the “dark web,” where stolen data is bought and sold.