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On August 19, 2015, hackers leaked information about users of the popular cheating site Ashley Madison.



Many users were under the mistaken belief that their information was protected on Ashley Madison.  Others believed that if they paid a fee to the Ashley Madison website, they could have their personal data removed from Ashley Madison.  While the logistics and details of the hack are still unofficial, hackers seemed to have shown the world that such a belief was not true.  More troubling, Ashley Madison allegedly made a significant profit from potential cheaters who believed that their information would be scrubbed from the site if they paid the ransom money fee. Some reported that this was probably a bad idea.

Once the site was hacked, hackers leaked the user information on the internet and it apparently was available for download using Tor on the darkweb.  Once hackers dumped the information online, it was readily available.  The data breach was accompanied by a message from the hackers which seemed to send a larger message to the site.  The data dump contained the information of millions of users.  Ashley Madison’s Chief technology officer Raja Bhatia has stated in an interview that the dumped information is fake.  This has been the case in the past.  The latest information comes from a group which calls itself the “impact team”.  The Impact Team has indicated that they are the Ashley Madison hackers. Some sources report that Ashley Madison has confirmed the data dump.

 

Ashley Madison is a dating site that offers married individuals an opportunity to find people to hook up with online.  It is run by Avid Life Media or ALM. Ashley Madison reportedly makes over 40 million dollars a month.

Many websites quickly scrambled to cover the story.  The Verge purports to help you find every type of data allegedly exposed in the Ashley Madison hack. ABC News also attempted to help people understand what was purportedly leaked.

Commentators predict that if the Ashley Madison user data is leaked, there will be many divorces. “It would definitely be a grounds for divorce if you found out your spouse’s information was leaked due to the use of Ashley Madison” stated Jamel Oeser-Sweat, Esq., a Divorce Lawyer based in New York City.

Sources:

Wired: Hackers Finally Post Stolen Ashley Madison Data

ARS TECHNICA: Data from hack of Ashley Madison cheater site dumped online

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