There’s no secret that the internet is a heaven where people get to indulge in sinful passions and activities that are sensitive, to say the least. But should people have to deal with the fear of being exposed at the failure of adult websites to defend information?
Websites like AdultFriendFinder, Cams.com, and Penthouse, have joined the likes of Brazzers which was hacked months ago, putting the private lives of millions in peril.
Big Internet Is Watching You
As far as privacy is concerned, debates about the exposure of privatized information for national safety concerns have sparked polarizing debates, at least in first world countries. But the apparent breach of security is the biggest example of classified releases.
Data reports indicate that details from 340 million users were stolen from AdultFriendFinder described as the “world’s largest sex and swinger community.“
But what most see as harmless mature fun soon turns into a nightmare of unseen proportions.
A staggering number of 62 million video chats were accessed by malicious content from Cams.com. Penthouse reported phishing of over 7 million accounts.
To summarize, users data for more than 412 million accounts have been compromised. The sheer volume of the attack surpasses any previous hack including the MySpace hack and even the infamous Ashley Madison breach.
Among the information lie details that are better left unsaid. Apart from demographic data such as IP addresses, usernames, passwords and comments, the hack also exposed details about sexual preferences and intentions for affairs. Not to mention credit card details and CVV numbers.
Don’t go thinking that only frequent members were targeted because even users with a web page period of less than a minute have been sacked. And as usual, admins and website authorities responded to ease rising tensions.
Negligent Control And Weak Spots
One of the major conclusions drawn from the breach was the poor strength of passwords used by a majority of users. Many simply employed alphanumeric values and simple English expressions that any garden variety hacker could decipher.
At the same time, a weak CSS( Cascading Style Sheet) and HTML design both gave way to a horrible mess that is soon to ruin a lot of lives. To add to the fragility, all characters were in plain format or SHA1 hashed, making it easier for malware to be spread through hyperlinks.
“ FriendFinder has received a number of reports regarding potential security vulnerabilities from a variety of sources. While a number of these claims proved to be false extortion attempts, we did identify and fix a vulnerability that was related to the ability to access source code through an injection vulnerability. ” –stated Vice President Diana Ballou.
Monitoring services such as Leaksource were called out to test the effectiveness of the websites’ defenses, and it was pretty shoddy.
“We were able to decipher 99 percent of all passwords”, a representative spoke. Why It’s Such A Huge Deal
While hackers have offered all the data for 30 Bitcoins all over the internet, the hack has put high-level figures such as the NSA in a state of worry. McAfee too has responded to the attacks calling unheard but shocking.
The reason to be worried is that such websites are just a few among million others that are at risk because they fail to meet the standards of trusted safety software. Anything is vulnerable, and as long as hackers have refined tools, nothing is safe.
A Never-Ending Story
The attack on adult websites isn’t new to the internet and has occurred several times before. But they all point towards an alarming trend of hackers exploiting badly maintained sites that just act like sitting ducks while unknown perpetrators make away with cash and data.Suspicions point towards the masterminds who were behind a similar set of attacks last year and remain at large.
Take a deep look at adult dating websites, and you’ll be left amazed by a long list of innumerable links. But what makes the ones at the lowest rung common are some intriguing similarities. Many of them have been the victims of attacks in the past with low Alexa rankings. All these websites even support polygamous relationships and have outdated security defenses. Transactions occur on the main subdomains and not on protected external sites.
As of now, reports suggest that spouses of account holders are receiving blackmail calls and threats by unknown callers, demanding ransoms in exchange.
While we know that crime doesn’t pay, the internet is proving that philandering doesn’t either.
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Featured Image Credit: Kate Moyles
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