Hackers have leaked the entire online database of Israeli LGBT + dating app Atraf, exposing highly sensitive information including the sexuality and HIV status of thousands of users.
The Black Shadow hacking group stole a file with information on around a million ads with full details of the users, according to France 24, many of which are closed. They released the database on Tuesday, November 2 after their $ 1 million ransom was not honored within 48 hours.
The leak has caused panic among the app’s predominantly male users, who fear being exposed or blackmailed with the information.
An anonymous man said Ynet: “It’s awful to enter my personal space.” He added, âI’m hiding my sexual orientationâ¦ I’m really helpless.
Some users fear the leak could be life threatening, according to The Aguda – the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, which noted that calls to their helpdesk have doubled.
“They chose the right target to create panic,” said Hilda Peer, member of the board of directors. France 24.
The Israel Internet Association and The Agudah issued a joint statement advising all Atraf users to change their usernames and passwords and to contact the police in the event of a ransom demand or blackmail.
âThe natural human tendency may be to succumb to the demands of attackers, but past experience shows that there is no guarantee that personal content will be removed. Moreover, it is an openness that can lead to additional ransom demands, âthey said, as reported by Jerusalem post.
The Privacy Authority announced on Wednesday (November 3) that it was investigating Atraf’s website for flawed cyber defenses that could have led to the hack.
Atraf is owned by the Israeli internet host CyberServe, which provides servers and data storage to a number of companies.
Dozens of other Cyberserve customers have been affected by the Black Shadow hack, including the Israeli medical institute Machon Mor which has lost the medical records of 290,000 patients.
Yoram Hacohen, head of the Israel Internet Association, said: âThis is one of the most serious attacks on privacy that Israel has ever seen. Israeli citizens are subjected to cyberterrorism. “
Those affected by the leak can contact The Agudah’s LGBT + hotline between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Simply call 2982 or WhatsApp at 058-620-5591.