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Channel 4 News has been investigating the cyber underworld, discovering which websites have been hacked and exposing the trade in personal information of millions of people through so-called “dark web” sites.
The investigation led to a secretive forum in which a hacker nicknamed ROR[RG] posted the details of users of Adult Friend Finder.
The stolen data reveals the sexual preferences of users, whether they’re gay or straight, and even indicates which ones might be seeking extramarital affairs.
In addition, the hackers have revealed email addresses, usernames, dates of birth, postal codes and unique internet addresses of users’ computers.
A representative of the agency stated that it was "always great to combine a very sexy high octane record with a very sexy brand.
Accessing certain features, such as e-mail, private chat rooms, webcams, blogging, and a webzine, requires paid membership.
“Where you’ve got names, dates of birth, ZIP codes, then that provides an opportunity to actually target specific individuals whether they be in government or healthcare for example, so you can profile that person and send more targeted blackmail-type emails,” says Charlie Mc Murdie, a cybercrime specialist for Pw C and former head of the Metropolitan Police‘s electronic crime unit.
Adult Friend Finder has an affiliate program, whereby webmasters are compensated for referring users to the site.
According to the complaints filed, the company has a practice of continuing to bill customers even after they have cancelled their service.
Among the 26,939 users with a UK email address, for example, there are just 1,596 who identified as female: a ratio of one woman to every 16 men.
Friend Finder Networks Inc, which owns Adult Friend Finder, told Channel 4 News: “Friend Finder Networks Inc…