Online Dating Website PlentyOfFish Gets Hacked, CEO E-Mails Hacker’s Mother
Online dating website PlentyOfFish.com has been hacked. The PlentyOfFish.com CEO Markus Frind and his wife was harassed. The hack attack was planned by Argentinean Chris Russo, the same hacker that hit The Pirate Bay. Below are some noteworthy excerpts from Frind’s blog:
At midnight Miami time my wife gets a call from Chris Russo that plentyoffish has been hacked into and that Russians have taken over his computer and are trying to kill him, and his life is in extreme danger and they are currently downloading plentyoffish’s database. Chris is trying to create a sense of panic. I listened in the background and I closed the breach if indeed there was one while my wife was on the phone and then I immediately ordered an investigation. Over the next 24 hours we got a lot of voice mails from Chris Russo frantically wanting to talk to us.
I have my director of engineering call Chris. A bit later I am on the phone with Chris as well. Chris tries to create intense sense of pressure and urgency, saying I have to either fly to Argentina or Washington DC so he can help me stop these attacks from the Russians. Hey says the Russians have complete access to everything including our bank accounts, and they want to steal about $30 million from a string of dating sites including ours.
Now the second time I talked to Chris he had an business partner “Luca” and he was no longer afraid of being killed by Russians. Chris introduces himself as the technical part of his company and Luca is the business side of the company. Now Luca tells me they have gone to the Washington Post (Brian Krebs) and they are going to write a story about the breach, but they will only do so with the consent of Luca. They then say we should find a way to work together as they are a security company. In exchange for complete access to all of our source code and SQL servers they can make sure we aren’t attacked again. Now they want us to Sign NDA’s Contracts etc. They also claim they know the locations of where the Russians dumped our data and they can delete it. They then start talking about money because they need to incorporate a company that can deal with companies outside of Argentina and that will cost $15,000. They also needed to know if they were going to make over $100k/year or 500k/year as that would require different registrations…
Frind decided to e-mail Russo’s mother to tell her about her son’s behavior. That’s an interesting way to prevent from getting extorted. PlentyOfFish.com is very popular in Canada, the UK, Australia, and the U.S. PlentyOfFish.com is free, but generates revenue through advertisements. PlentyOfFish was hacked last week and e-mail usernames and passwords were downloaded as a result.This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at +AmitChowdhry