FriendFinder Networks, an organization of multiple websites that are mostly
tailored to swingers and other sexually-driven services and content, is
dealing with societal backlash following a cyber-attack that leaked more
than 412 million user accounts to the public. The hackers reportedly struck
in late October, exhuming private identifying information from six of
FriendFinder Networks websites, dating back as far as 1996 and accessing
information that users thought they had deleted and buried. The vast majority
of the exposed accounts – roughly 340 million – originated
from AdultFriendFiender.com, a website advertised by the company itself
to be “the world’s largest sex and swinger community.”
This is not the first time AdultFriendFinder was hacked. In May 2015, another
cyber-attack targeted the adult-friendly website, leading to 3.5 million
accounts being shown to everyone who wanted to see them. FriendFinder
has recently stated that they have fixed the vulnerability within their
websites’ securities, but the argument could be made that the damage
has already been done.
Tech news headlines lit up last year after
Ashley Madison was breached by hackers, shining light on about 37 million user accounts.
The website is directly advertised as an online source for married people
to find other married people who want to have an affair in secret. Following
the account exposure, divorce rates jumped here and there.
Will the FriendFinder Network hack have the same effects on the married
population? The number of accounts dug up by the hackers is tenfold but
the implications might not be
Ashley Madison encouraged and enabled infidelity but FriendFinder Network only has adult-themed
services and content that do not break a marriage’s bond by definition.
At this time, it is perhaps too early to tell or speculate how divorce
rates will be affected, but a person’s name on the hacked list will
certainly hurt their chances to gain
child custody and
property rights during a
divorce, now or later.
The hack also serves as a clear reminder that what happens online is not
totally anonymous and is never completely secure.
Electronic discovery methods in divorce can dredge up user account information, with or without a hack. The only
sure way someone can avoid having their account exposed is to never have
one in the first place.
For more information regarding divorce laws and discovery methods, you can
contact TJC ESQ. Our family law attorneys in Rhode Island have decades of combined legal
experience and our lead by
Attorney Timothy J. Conlon, an award-winning divorce lawyer headquartered in Providence. Call
401.216.4414 today to begin.