Personal details sold following cyber security breach

28 April 2016

Data from a ‘beautiful people only’ dating website is traded online


Details of more than a million members of a dating website have been sold following a security breach at the end of last year.

Information including weight, height, job, and phone numbers were discovered unencrypted online in December 2015 and have now believed to have been sold on the black market.

The information belonged to members of the website Beautiful People, a dating website aimed at “beautiful people only”. People hoping to join submit photographs which are then rated by existing members.

Although the website initially reacted quickly following the discovery, it was too late to prevent the data being sold on. The details belonged to members who joined before July 2015, although the firm claim no passwords or financial information was included.

Beautiful People originally claimed the content was from a test server, but the data itself was still genuine.

Once such information is public, cyber criminals have the opportunity to use genuine identities to synthesise new ones. Speaking to the BBC, John Lord, managing director at identity data intelligence firm GBG, said that criminals tend to act within a month of receiving stolen data.

"Organisations need to take action and use more data, analytical insights and triangulation of multiple-identity proofing techniques to minimise the potential effects of identity theft for both the user and the businesses serving them," he said.

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