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From time to time, e Harmony may create test profiles in order to monitor the operation of the Services. When asked about bots, e Harmony said: "OKCupid, which boasts over a million app downloads per week, is not signed up to the trade body, but also uses fake profiles to test its services, it states in its terms and conditions.
It doesn’t always go right - but it’s a heck of a part of the social fabric.Pressure from shareholders and recent publicity scares surrounding Ashley Madison's hack as well as Match and Plenty of Fish's malvertising insecurity will change dating companies outlook on security and business models.Users of UK online dating website Guardian Soulmates have reportedly been receiving "sexually explicit" spam emails featuring private information taken from their personal account profiles, in what has been blamed on human error by a third-party company.The unauthorised exposure is not believed to be the work of hackers.According to the BBC, which was alerted to the incident by an impacted user, the spam contained the victim's profile username alongside other information that "could only have come from the Soulmates database."Guardian News and Media, which manages the service, said the issue has now been resolved."We can confirm we have received 27 enquiries from our members which show evidence of their email addresses used for their Soulmates account having been exposed," a spokeswoman said.This information can then be used to send targeted phishing emails, cybersecurity experts warned.
One victim told the BBC they first alerted the online dating service last November, and finally received an email confirming the exposure in late April."It's all information that I was happy to put online at one point anyway, but when it's used outside of context like that it does feel a lot more creepy," the source said.We set up terms on the application saying, we say on every application profile, 'do you understand, no fake profiles'.Some of the companies asked what to do if they wanted to up a profile to test if the site is working.The company added its ongoing probe pointed to a fault at an unnamed, external, technology provider.The firm also confirmed email addresses and user IDs were likely to have been exposed, admitting these could be used to locate other publicly available profiles and photographs, physical descriptions and relationship preferences.Marco Cova, senior security researcher at anti-malware firm Lastline said: "This is a good reminder that every breach reveals data that criminals can use to launch additional attacks."They can merge data from multiple sources, building dossiers on potential victims, including spearphishing targets.