What’s the world coming to when even the beautiful people aren’t safe from having their personal information exposed on the internet and sold by online scammers. It was widely reported last week that the online dating site “Beautiful People” managed to lose personal information from over 1.1 million of the site’s online dating profiles due to a poorly secured database. This personal information was quickly collected by hackers and scammers and is being sold through sites on the dark web.
Some of the sensitive personal information that was leaked by Beautiful People includes: revealing personal photos, relationship status, income level, street address, user names, passwords, email addresses and phone numbers. In addition, the leaked data also included latitude and longitude locations for people who were registered on the site. The leak also included over 15 million confidential messages sent by users.
Details about people’s personal interests, habits and hobbies can be found in the exposed data as well. The leaked information contained people’s drinking habits, smoking habits as well as things like favorite movies, television shows and books.
Member’s physical descriptions were also leaked, such as: height, weight, hair color, eye color and body type. On average, the leak exposed over 100 unique pieces of information for each registered user on the Beautiful People site.
In all, more than enough personal information was exposed about each user for someone to find out their real world identities, personalities and locations. Any person who was a registered member of the Beautiful People site should assume that their information has been compromised through these exposed personal details. In fact, several hundred email addresses associated with member accounts are official United States government email addresses that end with the .gov domain.
According to a statement issued by the company, they were informed about the database problems in December 2015 and the data leak occurred on an unsecured MongoDB database that was not used in production, but was connected to the internet. The company claims that this server was instantly shut down and no customer financial information was compromised.
Unsecured MongoDB databases have been involved in a number of high profile data leaks recently that have exposed millions of voter records and eCommerce accounts. In 2015, an unsecured MongoDB database exposed the voter records for almost 200 million United States citizens.
BeautifulPeople.com promotes itself as an exclusive online dating site that is reserved for beautiful people only. In fact, to become a member of this elite dating site, prospective members are voted on by current members based on their looks. Current members rate new applicants during a 48 hour period to determine if the new person is beautiful enough to become a member of the site. According to BeautifulPeople.com, they are the largest online community of beautiful people in the world.
According to the Beautiful People site, more than 700 couples who met on the site have gotten married and started familes and thousands of members are in committed relationships with each other. The site also claims that some of their members were discovered on the site and were offered professional acting and modeling jobs as a result.
However, it appears that this popular dating site is more focused on vanity than data security.