ESingles must face reality of LulzSec Reborn's hack, experts say

As of Wednesday, management of dating site denied the site had been hacked by a group calling itself LulzSec Reborn. But that doesn't change the reality -- that the group did in fact break into the database and stole passwords, email addresses, and other information from nearly 171,000 accounts -- several security experts say.

ESingles, which operates the dating site, issued a brief statement saying, "At this time there is no actual evidence that was hacked and it is possible that the Tweet from Operation Digiturk is simply a false claim." The company said it would, "treat this claim as if it were real and proceed with the required security steps in order to ensure the website and its database is secure."

But on MilitarySingles there was no warning of a possible breach. On the home page, one of the promotional statements declares: "We are fanatical about your privacy and security. Our site is constantly monitored using state-of-the-art technology. We have spared no expense that (sic) your personal information is stored and encrypted securely, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

And on the ESingles site, there was no mention of it. The "latest news" was a story from January 2010.

For all that, ESingles has been relentlessly mocked, both by LulzSec Reborn and others who have compared the stolen data with what is on the site and said it matches. In the Pastebin file, a note included the line, "laughing at your security since 2011."

Such "data dumps" are relatively common, but this one has created more of a buzz because it comes less than a month after the high-profile arrest of a half-dozen LulzSec members, along with the revelation that the group had been betrayed by one of its own leaders, Hector Xavier Monsegur, whose alias was "Sabu."

So is this really LulzSec 2.0?

Zach Lanier, a security researcher, says that would only matter to somebody studying the attack patterns of different groups. "If it's about getting owned and your data being breached, it doesn't really matter," he says. "It's less about the name and more about the idea. The whole anti-sec movement has been around for a long time."

For users of the site, the obvious response is to change their passwords. Lanier says he makes sure his passwords are complex, and doesn't even know most of them, because he keeps them in a password vault. That is what he recommends for everyone. "There are plenty of free ones out there," he says. Robert Siciliano, McAfee consultant and identity theft expert, recommends a different password for every site.

But a larger issue, he says, "is all the .mil addresses, which shouldn't be allowed by the military. If they used the same passwords for their email, that's a big deal."

Regarding ESingles, Siciliano says they must do what they claim on their home page: "They must encrypt," he says.

Read more about malware/cybercrime in CSOonline's Malware/Cybercrime section.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about Lanier AustraliaMcAfee Australia

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Taylor Armerding

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place