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The information contained in the leak includes usernames, post codes, emails, dates of birth, and even the unique internet addresses of users.
As more data is breached, this information can be sold in underground markets and can create a very vivid profile of an individual," said Westin."When dating information is compromised it can be used to embarrass individuals, which can lead to blackmail as well as highly targeted phishing campaigns.A treasure trove of deeply personal information about almost 4 million members of the online dating service Adult Friend Finder has been published on the dark web revealing intimate details including sexual orientation and the person's willingness to take part in extramarital affairs.The trove of data was discovered during an investigation by Channel 4 News into the deep web -- that part of the internet which is not accessible by normal web browsers and not indexed by search engines such as Google.The database of user information was published on a secretive forum by a user under the name ROR[RG] who may have been seeking to blackmail Adult Friend Finder for as much as $100,000 (£63,850) before posting the information online.According to this post on Tek Security website from April the hacker claimed Adult Friend Finder owed a friend of his $248,000 and published the stolen information in response.The hacker claimed he could not be touched by law enforcement because he was based in Thailand.
Dark web explained The dark web is a section of the internet that is not indexed by search engines such as Google, and not easily navigated to using a standard web browser.
Accessing the dark web requires specialised knowledge and software tools.
An example of this is content only accessible by using the Tor software and anonymity network, which while protecting privacy, is often associated with illicit activities.
An example would be a politician who may have created an account using a fake name, but used a known email address for their login details, or a phone number that can be mapped back to their real identity.
This is an example of how data like this can lead to further blackmail and/or extortion by a malicious actor seeking to profit from this type of information."Among the 3.9 million leaked records are 26,939 users with a UK email address according to Channel 4's investigations.
The investigation also shows that some users of the service which bills itself as "a thriving sex community" continued to hold details on users who had explicitly asked for their information to be deleted.