The company said the warning ended up in its spam folder, despite an email from an employee indicating that it had been read.
“Friend Finder employees receive hundreds of sales and marketing spam messages daily, including many from third party cyber security consultants, and any earlier communication on this specific issue was directed to junk mail folders and not considered a legitimate email,” the company said in a statement.
When pressed on details, Ballou declined to comment further.
But why Friend Finder Networks has held onto millions of accounts belonging to customers is a mystery, given that the site was sold to Penthouse Global Media in February."We are aware of the data hack and we are waiting on Friend Finder to give us a detailed account of the scope of the breach and their remedial actions in regard to our data," said Kelly Holland, the site's chief executive, in an email on Saturday.
In addition to launching an internal review, Friend Finder Networks has hired Mandiant, a high-profile cybersecurity company, to investigate the hack, and is working with the FBI.
Meanwhile, the person who originally dumped the information on the so-called darkweb, who uses the nickname ROR[RG}, is demanding more than £10,000 for access to the database of users, and capitalising on the news by marketing his cybercrime services.