Ashley Madison Hack Database Reveals Members Used Work Email Addresses To Cheat
Ashley Madison’s massive data breach has been made public. Hackers warned the adultery website last month that they were going to leak the personal information of the 32 million users of Ashley Madison, an online dating site that promotes infidelity. The website didn’t decide to go offline, so the hackers decided to leak the personal information.
The hackers moved forward with their threats and leaked the personal information of users associated with Ashley Madison. The initial leak happened on Sunday, Aug. 16. The data leak includes personal information such as names, usernames, encrypted passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, and transactions dated seven years back.
Ashley Madison’s leaked data information was released on early Sunday to Reddit and on parts of the deep web. Users started sharing the hacked data list on underground message boards and torrent file-sharing services.
The Ashley Madison leaked list reveals more than just a long list of adulterers. It also reveals that many members used their work email accounts to register with the adultery website. It should be known that a majority of the email addresses on the list are personal Hotmail or Gmail accounts.
Approximately 10,000 of those work-related email accounts belong to government officials and employees with.gov addresses. The data list also includes email addresses associated with the White House, NASA, the Vatican and the United Nations. Several reports are claiming that over 15,000 of these officials are in relation to the U.S. military, including those in high-level positions.
Although names haven’t been uncovered, there is one potential Ashley Madison customer that’s raising eyebrows. One member reportedly used British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s work email address to register their own infidelity account. However, Ashley Madison doesn’t verify any of the email addresses, meaning that anyone could have registered with Blair’s email account, according to a previous report via Wired.
There is concern growing with this Ashley Madison data leak. People could find themselves the victim of blackmail once their neighbors, friends, and co-workers find out that they’re associated with the website. There are even data search engines created so that significant others, friends, family members, and colleagues could search for someone just by using their email address.
Some hacking experts believe that the data on the list is legitimate. Per Thorsheim claims that most of the credit card numbers on the data list are “still valid” and in “daily” use. However, no full credit card numbers were stolen in the Ashley Madison leak.
AM breach: credit card listed in breach is *STILL VALID* and in “daily” use. AMEX/VISA/MC has got work to do now…. cc @DavidGoldmanCNN
— Per Thorsheim (@thorsheim) August 18, 2015
Avid Life Media, Inc., the company responsible for operating adult websites like Ashley Madison, has confirmed (via a Reuters report) that the data list has some authentic information.
“There has been a substantial amount of postings since the initial posting, the vast majority of which have contained data unrelated to AshleyMadison.com, but there has also been some data released that is legitimate.”
Some would argue that the members were foolish to use their work-related email accounts, but Ashley Madison is not illegal or porn-related. Work emails are easier for adulterers to hide from a partner rather than their personal emails. Some would argue the most of the members on the data list are probably not technologically savvy when it comes to using disposable email addresses.
Not only does the Ashley Madison leak bring up concerns about privacy issues, but it also brings up concerns about workplace etiquette. It’s not a sound idea to find out if your work colleague is on the list. The best advice is to stay out of it. If you or someone you know is on the Ashley Madison data list, then check out the source for more tips on how to handle this awkward situation.