For those of you unfamiliar, Ashley Madison is a website specifically designed to help married people have affairs. Their Twitter account offers the sage advice, "Life is short. Have an affair." And their website promises anonymity and discretion, boasting almost 40 million anonymous members. Sound like a case of digital syphilis waiting to happen? Well, get ready for the outbreak.
Back in July, hackers broke into the computer systems at AshleyMadison.com and stole sensitive customer information including names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card transactions. The hackers then threatened to release the information to the public if the parent company, Avid Life Media Inc. did not shut down the site and another, Established Men:
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.
Well, the site remained and today, the hackers made good on their threat dumping an estimated 9.7 gigabytes of information onto the web. The hackers, calling themselves The Impact Team, said:
We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data … Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles. See ashley madison fake profile lawsuit; 90-95% of actual users are male. Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters.
Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion. Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver...
Avid Life Media said in a statement:
This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities. The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world.
We'll bring you more information as this story continues to unfold!