Ashley Madison, the adult site that connects people who want to have extramarital affairs, will reportedly not see their planned IPO this year after hackers threatened to release the personal information of millions of customers.
The company’s initial plan was to raise $200 million on the London Stock Exchange in order to go public, but after hackers got into their system earlier this week and threatened to reveal the real names and info of some 37 million users, bankers say they don’t think it will happen.
“Of course they’re going to have to put any IPO plans on ice. It will be at least a few months before any banks would consider touching it. I don’t think this kills the company, unless all the data eventually gets leaked,” a banker based in Canada said.
The hacking group–which calls itself The Impact Team–is demanding that the site be brought down, taking particular umbrage with the fact that the company claims it will scrub a user’s personal information for a $19 fee. Instead, the group claims, Ashley Madison keeps credit card information on file. While The Impact Team says it will release user information to the public, a source told Sky News that it’s more likely that the info will be sold.
“They claim that they are going to give all the information out, especially credit card details and all the other ‘links’ and the ‘hashes’. I don’t think they’re going to release them. They have a better chance of selling on to someone else or to a ‘Blackhat Market’ on the ‘Deep Web’. They’ll profit from this in a big way, especially with the size of this database,” the source said.
Experts say that if the hackers do go through with their threats, the company will likely not survive.