Ashley Madison is a Canada-based online dating service and social networking service marketed to people who are married but they want to cheat on their spouse. Ashley Madison’s slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” The name of the site was created from two popular female names, “Ashley” and “Madison” and was launched in 2001. Ashley Madison has more than 124 million visits per month and is ranked No. 18 among adult online sites.
Ashley Madison became well known on July 15, 2015, after hackers calling themselves “The Impact Team” stole all of its customer data, including names, addresses, credit card information, and sexual fantasies. Hackers threatened to post the data online if Ashley Madison did not permanently shut down its website. Hackers carried out their threat and by July 22, the 89987names of customers were released. By Aug. 18, some user data was released. Some emails were released on Aug. 20 from customers who paid a $19 fee to have their data deleted.
According to Mashable, there are some Ashley Madison significant numbers. Its website shows 39.2 million members in 53 countries. Of that number, 33 million accounts have user information, including names, street addresses, and telephone numbers. There are 36 million email addresses and 9.6 million documented transactions with 10 GB of compressed data. Seventy percent of Ashley Madison’s users are male. Men are said to seek sex and women seek passion.
Ashley Madison’s data was stolen on July 11, 2015. Anyone who registered an account after this date is probably safe, but anyone who registered before July 11 should consider some or all of their information compromised. Even though passwords were encrypted in a relatively secured manner, they still can be cracked.
It has been reported that over 15,000 United States federal and state employees are on the site. The list includes at least two assistant United States attorneys, an information technology administrator in the Executive Office of the President, a division chief, an investigator and a trial attorney in the Justice Department, and two employees from Homeland Security Department. The list includes more than two dozen Obama administration agencies, including the departments of State, Defense, Justice, Energy, Treasury, Transportation and Homeland Security. Hundreds of transactions are associated with Department of Defense networks from the Pentagon or from other armed services.
More than 6,700 Army email addresses are included in the leak, as well as 1,600 from the Navy, 104 from Virginia state government and 45 from the Department of Homeland Security. Nearly 60,000 of its users are registered in the District of Columbia. Some subscribers had more than one account. It was reported that Josh Duggar had two Ashley Madison accounts and cheated on his wife, Anna.