Two months only after the attack on the hookup site AdultFriendFinder, it is now the turn of the famous Ashley Madison website to be hacked.
Nicknamed “Google of cheating” because it is used to facilitate extramarital affairs, the site has been the target of anti-infidelity hackers, the “Impact Team” who threaten to reveal the identity of its 37 million members. Intimate details such as names, addresses, credit card details and “secret sexual fantasies” could also be revealed.
Ironically, the reason for the hack in the first place is believed to be Ashley Madison’s Full Delete feature that proposes to remove the clients’ data from the website’s servers for £15. According to the hackers, Ashley Madison takes the money for the service (totalising £1.1 million last year) from the love cheats but don’t actually delete the data. To prove its claims, the Impact Team has already outed two men including one paying for the deletion of his profile and don’t feel an ounce of remorse as they qualify the website’s users as “cheating dirtbags” who “deserve no discretion”. They add that they will keep divulging the data until the website definitively closes.
The extramarital dating site has apologized for the inconvenience and is now temporarily offering the users to delete their account for free. It has also been trying to erase the data already released on the net using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) but it is certainly not likely to be efficient in the long run. CEO Noel Biderman firmly believes that the hacker might be a person who had ties with the website’s technical services.
Planning to sell the data?
We can wonder indeed whether the self-proclaimed “moral” hackers willing to expose infidelity and corruption could actually not use this publicity to sell their stolen data to the highest bidder. Some even believe that they might have been paid to steal the huge credit cards database and that their threat is just a bluff. The banking details could then be sold in batches on the Deep Web. In any case, this new hack proves once more that privacy can never really be guaranteed online, especially when payment comes into play.