Ashley Madison users are nervous. When the famous infidelity website -- with the motto "Life Is Short. Have An Affair" -- was reportedly hacked. Thousands upon thousands of people had a very bad day. Questions were racing around the Internet, this time as anonymously as possible.
What if my spouse finds out I had an Ashley Madison account, even if I never did anything else?
What was hacked? Credit card info? Messages passed back and forth on the site? Just user names?
Even people who have never used Ashley Madison at all were wondering what the hack might portend for society,
What could be done with the data that was taken? Could it be used to compromise people in sensitive positions?
The same sort of questions that the Ashley Madison hack raised were floated when Adult Friend Finder was hit back in May.
While there have been lots of news stories about the hack of Ashley Madison, there have not been many suggestions for persons fearing for their privacy. The usual topics about watching out for phishing schemes and such -- useful for any data breach -- are common.
But what if you know your life would be completely turned upside-down if your membership in Ashley Madison were found out? What suggestions are out there for you? Indeed, many seem to be snickering at the "just desserts" people who took Ashley Madison up on its offer are being threatened with getting.
#RuinDinnerWithYourParents Dad, that old school friend you used to email, Ashley Madison. How's she doing?
— lantenengo (@lantenengo) July 24, 2015
So these guys had to band together, gather what info they could, and come up with a plan. To that end, there was a "mega thread" started on Reddit, compiling as many of the smaller discussions that had sprung up as they could. Some of the observations and suggestions passed in those comments may prove to be useful or helpful to those worried about the Ashley Madison hack.
One commenter heavily encouraged joining a class action suit against Avid, owners of Ashley Madison.
I chatted with a great internet privacy lawyer, nationally known, who is taking my case. Engaging her Monday, so she will be in contact directly with AM corporate and legal. Fuck their customer service. I am going to sue the living sh*! out of Avid. This makes me feel alot better. I assume you all are in on this class action? I kid not, this is for real. This is the only power that we, the VICTIMS, have in this situation.
Guns don't kill people, people who find their spouses getting outed in the Ashley Madison hack kill people.
— Nathan (@stockejock) July 22, 2015
Another suggested that, if the worst happens, everyone maintain a front of denying it still.
Everyone needs to stop sweating. Even if it comes out there will be 1 and 10 people in North America on it. Lie. You've been lying all along and deny til the very end. Say the list is fake and trolls are using it for extortion. The list was manufactured from social media and your credit card number was stolen and you didn't notice. Play this shit off til the very end. If you weren't physically caught cheating it's pretty hard to prove. Even your pictures can be stolen from social media. Unless of course messages come out and they are personal. Then you're fucked. But until then enjoy everyday not being caught.
But one of the most insightful responses to the Ashley Madison hack was the idea that fake name lists should be put out, including peppering such lists with viruses.
The only way to stem the spread through normies, is if fake lists with malware/viruses are distributed. This will make most hesitate.
If a legitimate list exists, having the static and overlap of many fake lists might mitigate the damage, make it deniable. If even viewing a list is seen as dangerous because of virus booby traps, then maybe few would even look at the lists.
I'm a divorce lawyer with working CTRL and F keys and the ashley Madison pastebin so I'm buying drinks tonight
— LESEan MCCOY EVENTS (@trillballins) July 20, 2015