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It is not known how many customers were affected, but the Guardian said it received 27 complaints and that the problem has since been resolved. Professor Alan Woodward, a cyber-security expert at the University of Surrey, said the problem was compounded by the fact that ‘many people use a dating site, find a partner, and move on with their lives without realising their details are still in the system’.

In 2015, two big dating websites, Ashley Madison and Plenty of Fish, were hacked, exposing intimate details of millions of users worldwide.

Apparently, said user – who is employed in the IT arena – contacted The Guardian newspaper regarding the incident last November, and received a reply confirming the data leak late last month.

A spokeswoman for the Soulmates site told the Beeb that only email addresses and user IDs had actually been exposed, but that this information allowed malicious parties to dig up further details on members by finding and combing through their online profiles (which are public).

The Guardian’s online dating website has suffered some manner of data breach, with user information getting spilled and subsequently used in targeted spam emails of a sexually explicit nature.

Users of the Guardian Soulmates website have reportedly received spam messages which include details drawn from their site profiles, and according to one user who spoke to the BBC, the emails “directly [referenced] information that could only have come from the Soulmates database”.

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