More than 30 million users of the infidelity dating site Ashley Madison are perhaps finding out the hard way that there is no such thing as anonymity when it comes to the internet. This weekend, it was divulged that hackers of unknown origin had begun leaking large chunks of user data from the website of Ashley Madison.
Perhaps even worse than your spouse finding out that you are an Ashley Madison user is your employer finding out, when your employer is the United States government. That is the concern of the over 50,000 users in the DC area alone, many of whom work for the federal government, and some have government clearance.
As reported previously by the Inquisitr, Ashley Madison is a website with the tag line, “Life is short, haven an affair,” and creates matches for married people to cheat on one another. This hack, which was exposed by Brian Krebs on his “Krebs on Security” website, has many users very afraid. The hackers from a group called Impact have sent links around to many in the press and other sources, including Krebs, who says he will not pass on the information.
“Yes, they sent me direct links to it. I’m not republishing them because I don’t wish to be party to their extortion.”
Recently, the Washington Post reported that 10.4 percent of Ashley Madison’s users live in one neighborhood in DC, and that neighborhood is Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill is home to politicians, lobbyists, journalists, and other of the country’s power brokers. In 2015, Ashley Madison released a list of the country’s most adulterous cities. Washington DC was ranked first for the third year in a row.
The website DC Inno reported that since the news of the hack broke, hackers responsible have released a statement saying that if the site is not taken offline, that they would release customers records, including profiles with customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions. They have also indicated that Ashley Madison’s $19 “full delete” feature would not scrub the data that the hackers have collected.
Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Live Media, which also owns Established Men, is under fire from the Impact Team to take both sites offline due to their immoral nature. According to Time, ALM is doing what they can to contain this huge leak, and has condemned the hackers’ actions. “We’re not denying this happened,” ALM CEO Noel Biderman told Krebs. “Like us or not, this is still a criminal act.”
Do you agree that Ashley Madison’s users are “cheating dirtbags” as described by the hackers?