Affair site, Ashley Madison, hacked with leaks
The extramarital dating site has the tagline: “Life is short - Have an affair” and apparently has around 37 million members. It was hacked by a bunch of people calling themselves the Impact Team, and they also got stuck into another pair of sites owned by the same company - Cougar Life and Established Men.
The hackers say that they've got complete access to the databases, including financial records and all manner of stuff. For now, Impact Team have released 40MB of data, including credit card details, and are hanging onto the rest for, you can only assume, a special occasion.
And why is this happening? Well, you might think that these hackers don't like people having affairs. When they released the initial batch of data, they also put out a manifesto, saying that the rest of the info will be leaked if Ashley Madison and Established Men aren't permanently closed.
It says: "Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. The other websites may stay online."
The thing that sticks in the craw of the hackers, is that Ashley Madison charges users £15 to carry out a "full delete" of information, should they decide to leave the site.
They add: "Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed."
Avid Life Media think they know who is behind the hack, and Noel Biderman said: "We’re on the doorstep of [confirming] who we believe is the culprit, and unfortunately that may have triggered this mass publication." He added: "I've got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials. It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services."
Is 'touched our technical services' a euphemism or something?
Meanwhile, parent company ALM said: "We apologise for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information. The current business world has proven to be one in which no company’s online assets are safe from cyber-vandalism, with Avid Life Media being only the latest among many companies to have been attacked, despite investing in the latest privacy and security technologies."
"At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorised access points. We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber–terrorism will be held responsible."