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Troy Hunt, an Australian data breach expert who runs the Have I Been Pwned data breach notification site, says that at first glance some of the data appears legitimate, but it's still early to make a call. "I'd need to see a complete data set to make an emphatic call on it." If the data is accurate, it would mark one of the largest data breaches of the year behind Yahoo, which in October blamed state-sponsored hackers for compromising at least 500 million accounts in late 2014 (see Massive Yahoo Data Breach Shatters Records).It also would be the second one to affect Friend Finder Networks in as many years.Leaked Source says it has cracked most of the SHA-1 hashes.It appears that Friend Finder Networks changed some of the plaintext passwords to all lower-case letters before hashing, which meant that Leaked Source was able to crack them faster.A group that collects stolen data claims to have obtained 412 million accounts belonging to Friend Finder Networks, the California-based company that runs thousands of adult-themed sites in what it described as a "thriving sex community." See Also: Webinar | The Future of Adaptive Authentication in Financial Services Leaked Source.com, a service that obtains data leaks through shady underground circles, believes the data is legitimate.
The alleged leak is likely to cause panic among users who created accounts on Friend Finder Network properties, which primarily are adult-themed dating/fling websites, and those run by subsidiary Steamray Inc., which specializes in nude model webcam streaming.
The sites breached would appear to include Adult Friend Finder.com, i Cams.com, Cams.com, and Stripshow.com, the last of which redirects to the definitely not-safe-for-work playwithme[.]com, run by Friend Finder subsidiary Steamray.
Leaked Source provided samples of data to journalists where those sites were mentioned.
Prior to ISMG, he worked from London and Sydney covering computer security and privacy for International Data Group.
Further back, he covered military affairs from Seoul, South Korea, and general assignment news for his hometown paper in Illinois.
Still, those passwords were hashed using SHA-1, which is considered unsafe.