Hackers target Cupid to steal details from lonely hearts

THEY were looking for Asians, Colombians, Christians or Kenyans to love, but instead they were found by a hacker.

An estimated 254,000 Australians had their details stolen early last year by hackers targeting Cupid Media - a Gold Coast internet dating firm with sites including,, and and

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim on Wednesday found the company had broken privacy laws by failing to protect the private information of its love-lorn customers.

However, the group responded properly once the breach was discovered.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner did not learn of the company's January 2013 until late November when it began investigating.

The full names, birth dates, email addresses and passwords were all stolen by hackers.

The company stored no credit card or bank details.

Once Cupid learned of the damage, it moved quickly to toughen up its previously lax password and information protection.

Mr Pilgrim said while Cupid failed to protect and obscure private customer information, it had acted to fix the problem.

"Cupid's vulnerability testing processes did allow it to identify the hack and respond quickly," he said.

"Hacks are a continuing threat these days, and businesses need to account for that threat when considering their obligation to keep personal information secure."

Topics:  cupid editors picks hackers online dating scams

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