It's been said that hackers will exploit any possible entry point for gain, and this includes the heart.
Ever since the creation of virtual identities thanks to chat rooms and then social networking, fraudsters have been fabricating online personas for any number of malicious reasons, not the least of which is perpetrating a cyber attack.
Regardless of the scheme, eligible bachelors and bachelorettes – or those who are just looking to have a good time – have a new cyber threat vector to watch out for: Online dating sites and "hookup" apps.
One of the most memorable data breaches of 2015 was executed against Ashley Madison, an online network for adults who are seeking an extramarital affair.
According to multiple news sources, hackers managed to steal personal details and login credentials of approximately 32 million users including names, contact information, addresses, passwords and more.
The perpetrators agreed not to do anything with data under one condition: That Ashley Madison and its sister site Established Men – which links younger women with older men who have money – were to be shut down completely.
Ashley Madison did not comply with the terms, and as a result, the hackers dumped 9.7 gigabytes of data belonging to the 32 million or so users.
Anyone with access to the Internet and a connected device could browse the list to see if anyone they knew, or suspected, might be an account holder.This unearthed some disconcerting evidence suggesting that adultery wasn't the only sin on some Ashley Madison users' minds.Shortly after the breach, Trend Micro researchers noticed something interesting.Some of the account holders on the website listed the cyber security firm's honeypot email addresses in their contact information.Honeypots are essentially simulated email accounts designed to lure cyber attacks such as phishing scams.The goal is to keep these attacks away from actual users, mainly because they allow researchers to identify them as cyber threats.