Pornhub Hacked: Cyber Experts Discover Users' Preferences On Site

Don't panic though, it was all part of the plan.

26/07/2016 11:58

Pornhub, one of the world’s largest porn sites has had its website hacked, revealing millions of users’ personal preferences.

Before you start furiously trawling through your browsing history, there’s little to be concerned about.

scyther5 via Getty Images

The hack was actually requested by Pornhub as part of a competition designed to help the company make its website more secure.

Two ‘White Hat’ hackers successfully accessed the website remotely and managed to reveal the personal preferences of Pornhub’s users. Rather than selling that information on as most hackers normally would, these were cyber experts who are paid to use their skills for good.

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As such the two were given a £20,000 reward or ‘bug bounty’ for revealing the vulnerability.

Pornhub has been making considerable steps to increase the security of its site, launching a ‘bug bounty program’ in May which encourages hacking experts to help them find gaps in their security.

The fact that a porn site is trying to keep its data secure is hardly surprising, especially when you take into account the sheer popularity of the site.


Pornhub averages over 18 billion views a year with 60 million daily visits. It then has four million people registered to the site as Pornhub user.

The site suffered a near-miss back in May when security researchers Ruslan Habalov and hacker Dario WeiBer discovered an exploit in the site’s coding language.

What they discovered was a specific function which handles all the data supplied by Pornhub’s users including their video uploads.

By cracking into this function the two were able to gain access to Pornhub’s complete database of users including sensitive information about them.

This would then potentially allow a hacker to find a video and then trace its origin back to the person who had originally uploaded it to the site.

Rather than use this knowledge for criminal purposes though both the hackers turned over everything they’d discovered to the site which then promptly released a patch that fixed the problem.

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