The "exclusively for beautiful people" dating site BeautifulPeople.com has reported a hack on its site that allowed as many as 30,000 "less than pretty" candidates to join it.

Advertising itself as the "largest most exclusively beautiful community in the world", BeautifulPeople.com reported that it was hit by a "Shrek" virus that compromised its vetting software, allowing a wave of "sub-standard" applicants to join the dating site.

Speaking to the Guardian the site's MD, Greg Hodge commented: "We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting."

Hodge went on to defend the sites skin-deep recruitment process saying: "We have to stick to our founding principles of only accepting beautiful people -- that's what our members have paid for. We can't just sweep 30,000 ugly people under the carpet."

BeautifulPeople.com has reportedly since refunded a total of $112,500 to the new members it considered sub-par.

Hodge speculated that a jilted ex-employee may have been the culprit, commenting: "At first it looked like one of the 5.5 million BeautifulPeople rejects planted the virus, but further investigations point towards a former employee planting the virus like an evil Easter egg last month."

Since the report from BeautifulPeople, security firm Sophos has suggested that the Shrek virus may in fact have been a publicity stunt by the company. BeautifulPeople.com are yet to comment on the allegation.