Managing social media for the U.S. Army I had an odd yet interesting task – keeping track of general officers’ online dating habits. It might seem strange, unless you’ve heard about the problem of scammers using online dating sites as a way to prey on women looking for a handsome man in uniform. The scammers, often hailing from countries such as Nigeria, would use an actual service member’s name and likeness to set up the profiles – and then reach out and make connections with women. Along the way they’d ask for money, supposedly for calling cards or airline tickets to make a trip to the states.
Unfortunately, all too many individuals were duped by these scams. Notably, I remember once instance with a woman who contacted our office after being shocked that then Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George Casey wasn’t actually the person she’d been trading messages with on an online dating site.
So while it’s no surprise that online dating sites can be a great avenue for attacks and scams, just last week LulzSec, a group of hackers claiming to be the reborn Lulz Security, claimed an attack on the military dating site MilitarySingles.com. As a part of the hack they released email addresses, passwords and IP addresses for 160,000 military users.
The hack was the comeback engagement for LulzSec Reborn, in the wake of the early March news that LulzSec’s alleged leader had been working as an FBI informant. Other members of LulzSec aren’t taking their founder’s alleged cooperation with the establishment lightly, and this attack is the first of their reunion tour, it would seem.
It’s a friendly reminder to use different passwords for every profile, particularly distinguishing between work and social media accounts. The real problem with a big reveal like the MilitarySingles.com attack isn’t usernames and email addresses, it’s linking those passwords with users.
And the good news? It looks like ChristianMingle.com wasn’t breached.