Last month, it was first reported that Ashley Madison's data was breached by a group of hackers called the Impact Team. The team threatened to release the personal information of the 32 million members who held accounts on the adultery website along with the members on the sister site, EstablishedMen. Since Ashley Madison and Established Men refused to go offline, the hackers went ahead with their threats and released the official data list as early as Sunday morning (August 16).
As previously reported via the Inquisitr, the database includes detailed information of each member, including full names, photos, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, employer information, sexual fantasies; and the last four digits of their credit card numbers.
The problem with Ashley Madison isn't just the large number of adulterers and liars that are listed on the website. The biggest mistake that these members made was using their credit cards in the first place. Most people don't realize when they use their credit card, it can reveal all of their personal information in a snap. The Ashley Madison hack reveals everything about these members because they were so willing to use their credit card information. They trusted the site to keep their information. They didn't realize that a hack could affect them and their families in the near future.
Each of the profiles on the Ashley Madison website includes graphic and detailed information about their inner most secret sexual fantasies, which some would argue should be kept to themselves. Ashley Madison brags that it has over 37 million anonymous users on its website. It also boasted that its one of the leading website for secret and discreet sexual encounters for married individuals. Ashley Madison also offers discreet ways of paying, although some members on the site didn't choose to use them for some unknown reason.
Millions of users signed up with the site thinking that their affairs and sexual encounters would go unnoticed. Now, those users are making up for it since they used their credit cards to pay for the services offered on the website. When Impact Team first threatened to take down Ashley Madison, the site's parent company, Avid Life Media, declined to comment about linking it members' credit card numbers to their profiles.
Now, Avid Life Media is speaking out about the data breach that took place over the past weekend. The company admitted that some of the information in the database is authentic. The company also revealed that email addresses are not verified at the time of registration, meaning that members can use anyone's email address to join the site.
The company behind Ashley Madison also issued a statement, reassuring its members that their full credit card numbers weren't stolen.
"No current or past members' full credit card numbers were stolen from Avid Life Media. Any statements to the contrary are false. Avid Life Media has never stored members' full credit card numbers."That doesn't make the data dump less embarrassing for its members. As previously stated, other personal information such as full names and addresses are listed in the databases. Several data search engines have been created so that you can search for email addresses that were included in the Ashley Madison hack.
There's no doubt that Ashley Madison will be in the news for weeks to come, especially if celebrities, political figures, or pop culture figures are in the news for being listed on the website. It's already being reported via the Inquisitr that Josh Duggar was registered on Ashley Madison, as his real address and personal information was verified.