Widespread news of the hack of AshleyMadison.com is making the rounds today. Millions of people devoted to disrespecting the institution of marriage have been threatened with exposure if the company in charge of the cheating site does not cease operation. The hackers may achieve their goal even if AshleyMadison does not back down.[read_more]
Avid Life Media runs AshleyMadison as well as cougarlife.com and establishedmen.com. Ashley Madison is designed to help married people have affairs and most of its 37 million users are believed to be in the U.S. and Canada. Although, coming under scrutiny for years the company seems to be thriving, and growing in users with every negative news article published. Until now.
A group of hackers naming themselves the Impact Team claims to have accessed the 37 million person strong database and have levied the following threat:
We are the Impact Team. We have hacked them completely, taking over their entire office and production domains and thousands of systems, and over the past few years have taken all customer information databases, complete source code repositories, financial records, documentation, and emails, as we prove here. And it was easy. For a company whose main promise is secrecy, it’s like you didn’t even try, like you thought you had never pissed anyone off.
Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we 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. The other websites may stay online.
So far, ALM has not complied.
They released data for seven years for one person per day as proof of their abilities. Good luck finding the information as the mirror sites for the data dump all went dead within 24 hours. If you find the “manifesto” you will see the significant data for two very unlucky men are listed.
ALM has shown no willingness to back down.
We’re on the doorstep of [confirming] who we believe is the culprit, and unfortunately that may have triggered this mass publication,” [ALM CEO] Biderman said. I’ve got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials. It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services. Source.
So the Impact Team is not looking for money. They are looking to shut down or expose facilitators of infidelity. I believe ALM will not back down, and the Impact Team may be prevented from leaking the remainder of the information.
Still ALM’s dreams of going public may be quickly slipping away as users fear the worst from utilizing their services.
P.S. I am aware from various comments that there are ways to anonymize your information on AshleyMadison.com. Still, many will not have jumped through sufficient hoops to be comfortable contracting with them in the future.