It may not be pretty, but an Ashley Madison website leak might very well have exposed personal information connected to millions of users on the controversial dating platform. The purpose of Ashley Madison, whose tagline is “Life is Short, Have an Affair,” is apparently for married couples to discreetly cheat on their husbands and wives. Yet Sport Act News reveals this Thursday, July 23, 2015, that a mysterious hackers group, identified as The Impact Team, says it now has complete access to all users on the website.
It is somewhat discouraging to learn that there is even a website in existence that offers married couples the opportunity to cheat on their spouses. After all, marriage is a union between two consenting adults that is based on the ideals of love, fidelity, and honesty. Ashley Madison is regarded as one such online website that offers adultery “services” for users, at a fee. Yet if what a group of hackers claim is true this summer, cheaters had better beware.
A leak has allegedly come about after The Impact Team was able to infiltrate the mainframe of the international dating site. Now, those who believe that “Life is short, Have an Affair” might need to come clean on their secret doings online. The hackers have made an announcement this week that they now have information on the entire user database, including financial records and personal details, that they can use at will.
However, The Impact Team is apparently willing to keep all of the information they have recovered under wraps on one condition, says Fox News. The dating and adultery website needs to be taken down.
The hacking group at this point in time as released into the public a total of 40 megabytes of data, which includes some information on the credit cards of various users as well as content regarding Avid Life Media, the parent company of Ashley Madison. This may not be very much yet, but the team is threatening they will share the posted “sexual fantasies” of the millions of potential cheaters on the site, including past customer transactions, unless the site is cleared.
According to the press release on the Ashley Madison leak, The Impact Team has managed to infiltrate hidden files from Established Men and Cougar Life, two other dating sites as well. Both websites are under the control of Avid Life Media, too. Here is the official comment provided by the hackers to this “Life is short, have an affair” site:
“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.”
Are the hackers doing this act in order to stop many cheaters and prevent the breakdown of marriages? Not necessarily. It is reported that the main reason the mysterious The Impact Team has targeted the adultery website is because it charges users a leavers’ fee for those who sign up and then wish to delete their account.
Ashley Madison does feature a “full delete” of all personal data if the user would like to discontinue the adultery service, but there is a charge. The Impact Team, however, alleges that some information, including name and address, remain secretly on file. For their part, Avid Life Media has spoken out in apology on behalf of the Ashley Madison leak this week. They extended their regret to users about the infiltration from the hackers.
“We apologize 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 unauthorized 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.”