Monday, January 07, 2008

"Adult" site has major security breach, leaking customer email addresses

The Washington Post, in a story by Keith Richburg, reported Jan. 4 (on p A09) that an “adult” web site experienced a major compromise of its security, with a list of customers and email addresses, but not credit card information, lost to hackers, who in this case appear to have been looking for email addresses for spam. The link for the Post story is here.

There could be concerns that the information could be posted somewhere and identify the people as visitors to adult websites, an issue that could disturb certain kinds of employers and become a “reputation defender” kind of issue.

Of course, it should come as no surprise that such websites are not particularly safe places to surf, although companies like McAfee still try to evaluate them with Site Advisor or similar products. Police departments have sometimes also used them for sting operations, and this has gone on for several years. Wired News had a major story about this in early 2002.

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