Sign up to our newsletter
20 million usernames and email addresses for a popular Russian dating website have been leaked, according to Bloomberg.
Techworld highlights the targeted website as Topface, which has 91.5 million users. Anti-fraud firm Easy Solutions claimed that of the leaked users, 50 percent were Russian citizens, and 40 percent from the EU. Seven million of the logins were Hotmail addresses, 2.5 million were Yahoo based, and 2.3 million were from Gmail.
In a statement, the Chief Executive Officer for Topface, Dmitry Filatov, stated that there was no proof of any breach, and given 90 percent of the site’s users log in via social media accounts, the site has no access to their passwords. “We are pretty sure that our users will not have any problems, even if any data was stolen from our service,” he told Bloomberg.
However, in a surprise twist to the possible motives of the hacker, International Business Times reports that the attack may have been a stunt to highlight the “outrageous” problem of fake accounts on dating websites.
Speaking to IB Times UK, the hacker – who goes by the alias of ‘Mastermind’ – said his intent was not to sell stolen information, but to highlight millions of fake profiles dating companies use to make their sites seem more appealing, which he described as “outrageous” and “a dirty business”.
“I thought about [selling the database] but I believe there are more important things in our world that we should pay attention to first,” he said.
When asked to confirm that the site targeted was Topface, the hacker refused to confirm one way or the other, saying, “I wouldn’t confirm or deny rumors that the site is Topface; however I can tell several email [have] been sent to the actual site about the vulnerability but they didn’t respond.”
Author Alan Martin, ESET