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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

    Hacker publishes data from 2.28 million users of a dating platform

    Extensive private data emerged in a hacker forum. These allow sex extortion by criminals. Payment information is not leaked.

    A hacker released details of over 2.28 million users of a dating platform. This is private information, but according to the operator, it is not critical data such as payment information. The security leak has been closed.

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    Information that appears uncritical at first glance

    The data is freely available in the form of a 1.2 GB file in a publicly accessible hacker forum. According to information from ZDNet, it is apparently a copy of the database from MeetMindful, a niche dating platform. The post in the hacker forum has been viewed more than 1500 times and the file is still available for download. How often this was downloaded is not known.

    The leaked data includes names, birthdays, email addresses, place of residence with geographic location, body details, marital status, IP addresses, encrypted passwords, and Facebook information. However, this does not apply to all users. Photos and messages are not included. Since the passwords are encrypted, they cannot be used immediately.

    Blackmail based on leaked data is still possible

    According to the operators of MeetMindful, payment information such as credit card details have not been leaked. In addition, the data should be around six months old. The operators have closed the leak and increased safety measures. They also recommend that users change their passwords.

    At first glance, the leaked data does not appear critical, but it still allows conclusions to be drawn about certain people. This could give criminals opportunities for “sex extortion” or “sextortion” (from extortion). The blackmailers use information from dating platforms or even pictures and videos of their victims. Those affected should only be able to avoid being compromised by family or colleagues if they pay a ransom.

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