The Ashley Madison hack is obviously not a good thing for its over 30 million members. Not only are they are facing embarrassment from having their personal information exposed to their significant others, neighbors, friends, family, and colleagues, but they’re also dealing with extortionists.
Back in July, an anonymous group of hackers called the Impact Team threatened to hack the adultery website and its sister site Established Men. Since Avid Live Media refused to have their sites go offline, the hackers dumped the personal information on Reddit, underground forums, the Dark Web, and via torrent. Now it looks like Ashley Madison’s members are already facing threats from extortionists.
As previously reported via eCanada Now, some of Ashley Madison’s members were threatened by email to pay or face the embarrassment of their marital problems. If they don’t pay within seven days of the threats, then their significant other will be notified about their extramarital problems.
IT Specialist Rick Romero explained to several media outlets on how the extortionists are targeting Ashley Madison users. According to him, these new attackers are “using email providers VFEMail to target Ashley Madison users.” Anyone can use VFEmail to create a free email account to spam people or send bulk emails.
Over 500 of these emails were already sent out before the spam filters could target them. The group of spammers are asking for one bitcoin or $225 to keep the information hidden from the user’s significant. However, a previous report via the Inquisitr that claimed one Ashley Madison member had to pay $450 within seven days.
The following message is below is the kind of email that Ashley Members are receiving from the extortionists.
Unfortunately, your data was leaked in the recent hacking of Ashley Madison and I now have your information.
If you would like to prevent me from finding and sharing this information with your significant other send exactly 1.0000001 Bitcoins (approx. value $225 USD) to the following address:
Sending the wrong amount means I won’t know it’s you who paid.
You have 7 days from receipt of this email to send the BTC [bitcoins]. If you need help locating a place to purchase BTC, you can start here…”
One Ashley Madison member spoke to Krebs on Security about the blackmail he received. The man who call himself “Mac” says that he decided to speak out about the attack he received rather than pay up. Although he’s choosing not to become a victim of extortion, he is “loosely concerned” about future extortion attacks.
“If I put myself in [the extortionist’s] shoes, the likelihood of them disclosing stuff doesn’t increase their chance of getting money. I just not going to respond.”
The extortion is just the latest fallout to happen from the Ashley Madison hack. A third leak has already been released, which contains nude photos and sexually explicit chats of Ashley Madison users. It looks like these users have more to worry about than just pesky email spammers. There are other risks involved such as identity theft, stolen credit card information, and sensitive information that’s being exposed to the public.
Some Ashley Madison users will not only lose their marriages, but also their jobs due to this data breach. It looks like this hack will only continue to get worse as time goes on.