Josh Duggars’ Ashley Madison account made network news yesterday. But a larger issue looms with government and military servers being used to access the site. In the massive leak of data from the Ashley Madison hook-up site, there are close to two dozen accounts that can be traced to the City of Oklahoma and another 33 with accounts linked to Tinker Air Force Base. The online site specifically promotes adultery and most think the findings at Tinker AFB are the tip of the iceberg for the military.
The site’s slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair” and is pretty much designed for married men to cheat on their spouses. The Canadian–based service was launched in 2001 and does not charge a monthly subscription fee like other online sites; instead, it sets up “credits”, for a fee. According to Wikipedia, for a “conversation” between two members, “one of the members-almost always a man” pays out five credits to get the conversation started. Additional conversations are free.
The data dump from Ashley Madison came to light July 15, 2015, when hackers accessed Ashley Madison’s servers which contained not only names and addresses, but sexual fantasies of the users. It gets worse; hackers were also able to get financial information from credit cards used to buy credits. Customers paid an additional $19 to have their personal information deleted. Which obviously wasn’t done.
A spokesperson for state offices in Oklahoma said their IT department and Human Resource Departments were doing an internal investigation. He also indicated that state computers typically have safeguards to prevent access to sites like Ashley Madison. It remains to be seen if those safeguards were effective.
Mark Hybers, spokesperson for Tinker Air Force Base said use of “government resources, including Internet and email, is for official or authorized purposes only.” He went on to say,
“Air Force policy specifically prohibits the use of government communications systems for unauthorized personal use or for any purpose which could adversely reflect on the Department of the Air Force. Pending additional information, it would be inappropriate to speculate.”
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