November 18, 2016
Ashley Madison Names On List Get Text Messages, Phone Calls As Ashley Madison Search Websites Shut Down

The users exposed on the hacked list of names from the Ashley Madison hacking are reportedly now getting phone calls and text messages. As reported by Yahoo, a person calling themselves "a friend" texted an Ashley Madison hacking victim, with an ominous message that claimed to know that the person appeared on the list of Ashley Madison users names. The text message to the Ashley Madison hacking victim also was so bold to ask the person to explain why their name appeared on the list.

"I have found your name in a certain database and was wondering if you could help explain its presence there. What I can't understand is how an intelligent person like yourself got caught in this. What were you thinking?"
The hacking victim was the Bloomberg writer of the I Was Harassed After the Ashley Madison Hack article linked above, who wrote that the harassing and judgmental text messages continued all day. Ironically, the writer explains that she joined Ashley Madison to write this article for Bloomberg Businessweek about Ashley Madison. She explains her joining Ashley Madison in 2001 with the username "redvelvet2" was to write the piece.
"I quickly learned what it was like to be a woman on Ashley Madison, which involved being inundated with messages from men who behaved like lions fighting over a piece of meat."
It isn't merely text messages that those Ashley Madison users are reportedly receiving. On Reddit, reports of Ashley Madison users getting random phone calls from unknown numbers are appearing as well. While some claim the users are being paranoid and are simply receiving random spam phone calls from telemarketers as usual, others aren't so sure.

Besides receiving worrisome text messages and phone calls, Ashley Madison users are busy trying to take down search engines that make it easy to find the names of Ashley Madison users without even knowing their email addresses. One such search engine that had the "Ashley Madison" name in the URL allowed users to search by name, email, credit card name, city, and employer, if that data was available. That site has been taken down and was unavailable as of Monday.

Other Ashley Madison search engines that continually pop up under a variety of domain names -- most of them containing "Ashley Madison" and some other words in the URLs -- are just as soon being taken down. However, complaints to Amazon about some of the Ashley Madison search engines being hosted on Amazon Web Services received an unfortunate reply.

"We've received your report concerning unwanted content hosted on Amazon Web Services. In investigating this content, we've determined that it is currently managed by a user of our network. While the IP address of the material may indicate that the network is ours, the user is actually the one controlling the content in question."
[Image via Getty Images/Dirk Wahem]