AdultFriendFinder Blows Ashley Madison Out Of The Water With Latest Breach
By McKenzie Dunn
Remember Ashley Madison? The website for extramarital affairs was hacked last year, releasing the information of 32 million users and landing them a spot in the headlines.
AdultFriendFinder was just hacked and has earned the title of largest hack of 2016. Over 412 million accounts were leaked; making it 10 times bigger than the Ashley Madison hack.
AdultFriendFinder falls under the umbrella of FriendFinder Network which also includes sex sites, Cams.com and Penthouse.com, both of which were also exposed. The numbers are as follows:
AdultFriendFinder: 339 million records
Cams.com: 62 million records
Penthouse.com: 7 million records
The breach, which occurred in October, was made public on November 13th. It was also revealed that those 412 million stolen accounts were produced from 20 years’ worth of data. Of the stolen login credentials, 99 percent of the passwords were cracked by Leakedsources.com.
WHAT IS THE MOST SHOCKING PART OF THIS STORY?
Not only were 99% of the passwords cracked, a surprisingly large number of those passwords were the easiest, least clever passwords a person could possibly come up with. One would think that in this day in age, we would know not to set our passwords as “12345”, especially for a site as sensitive and private as AdultFriendFinder, but that’s exactly what 600,000 users did. A million users added a six to the end while another million users continued with 7,8,9 and 0. Another easily cracked password at the top of the list was iloveyou…ironic, huh?
You may also be shocked to find out, 15 million of the stolen accounts were accounts that had supposedly been deleted. As it turns out, instead of actually being deleted, accounts that were supposed to be shut down were flagged but remained listed among active accounts. That’s 15 million sets of credentials, for people who thought they were no longer associated with AdultFriendFinder, exposed right along with everyone else.
HERE’S THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED
Passwords: Change them. If you’re one of those who use ridiculously simple passwords (123abc, password, 12345), consider this your warning. You’re not doing yourself any favors with a password like that. We can all agree that passwords are annoying and hard to remember but they are an essential part of securing your personal information. Here’s a tip: instead of thinking of a password, start thinking of a passphrase. A passphrase can be a series of three random words; make it silly or catchy, that way you’ll have an easier time remembering it. A phrase, instead of a single word or some numbers strung together, is much harder to crack and can be your first line of defense in data security.
Cox, E. (2016, November 14). AdultFriendFinder Hacked: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://heavy.com/tech/2016/11/adult-finder-adultfriendfinder-aff-hacked-private-information-leaked-million-accounts/
Matthews, L. (2016, November 13). Adult Websites Hacked, 412 Million Users Exposed. Retrieved November 14, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/leemathews/2016/11/13/412-million-users-exposed-as-adult-websites-hacked/#c18a7aa416de