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Spear phishing becomes a lot easier when attackers not only have an email address, but also location, language, and race.The source IP addresses collected can even provide pinpoint street locations for attacks.Around two hours later an employee at Friend Finder Networks then replied with a “read receipt” to say that the warning email had been read.The online dating company would not comment on the read receipt, but said its “leadership” only became aware of the breach on 20 May when contacted by Channel 4 News.Many would argue that having an email address and the associated data might be of little value.However, much the same way metadata collection provides insight to the NSA, this type of information provides attackers with plenty of leverage that can be used against the public.Either way, the database dump itself is 570 megabytes, and assuming the data was exfiltrated in a few large transactions, it would have been very noticeable on a network level.
Adult Friend Finder, an online “dating service” and its affiliates were hacked in April.
“Friend Finder employees receive hundreds of sales and marketing spam messages daily, including many from third party cyber security consultants, and any earlier communication on this specific issue was directed to junk mail folders and not considered a legitimate email,” the company said in a statement.
In addition to launching an internal review, Friend Finder Networks has hired Mandiant, a high-profile cybersecurity company, to investigate the hack, and is working with the FBI.
Friend Finder Networks (formerly Various, Inc.) is an American internet company founded in 1996 by Andrew Conru.
Its corporate headquarters are located in Boca Raton, Florida, with additional offices in California, New York, and Taiwan.