It’s ironic that cheaters who used a website to cheat on their partners found themselves cheated, thanks to hackers.
“Ashley Madison,” a website encouraging people to have an affair because “life is short,” was hacked on Monday by a group that calls themselves The Impact Team. The group claims to have gotten access to the site’s 37 million member database, along with their financial records and personal information.
— Forbes (@Forbes) July 20, 2015
The controversial “dating” company, which is known for enabling millions of married people to cheat on their spouses, prides itself on its confidentiality and security measures and has claimed to have “100pc discreet service.” It even has a “Trusted Security Award” prominently displayed on its homepage.
Now, unless the company meets the hacker’s demands to shut down “Ashley Madison” and its sister site “Established Men” The Impact Team will release “all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.”
According to Bryan Krebs, investigative journalist and cybercrime expert, the hackers have already posted some user accounts along with information about Avid Life Media, “Ashley Madison’s” parent company.
Avid Life Media admits the site has been hacked but insists that the company has removed all the stolen information by using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
In a previously released statement, Ashley Madison assures its members that it has "been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized access points.”
The company added that they are working with law enforcement agencies so that “any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber–terrorism will be held responsible." They have reportedly also hired one of the top IT security teams in the world to prevent another attack.
The company believes the hack was spearheaded by an individual who worked with the company’s technical systems but was not an employee of the company.
The Impact Team appears to have taken issue with “Ashley Madison’s” allegedly misleading profile-delete policies.
“Ashley Madison” offers a “full delete” service that allegedly erases a user’s profile and all associated information completely for a $19 fee.
The hackers state that the feature has netted the company $1.7 million in revenue last year but that it was “a complete lie” as users’ credit card purchase details, which includes real names and addresses, are not removed.
“Ashley Madison” has since offered to make the service free to its customers
The “Ashley Madison” hack has opened a veritable can of worms for both the company and its members who don’t want to advertise their proclivities. And for a lot of people, even having your name associated with the site can be damaging.