Hackers Access Ashley Madison Site Data, Expose Online Cheaters
On Monday, Avid Life Media, Inc., the parent company that owns AshleyMadison.com, released a statement confirming an alleged hacking that led to the release of unauthorized information off the extramarital hook-up site.
The company, with the help of law enforcement, is currently investigating the hacking scandal.
“We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds, and have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world,” reads the statement. “As other companies have experienced, these security measures have unfortunately not prevented this attack to our system.”
The data in question are millions of users’ full contact information, which includes real names and addresses. This wouldn’t be so problematic if it weren’t for the popular site’s slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
Boasted as the second-highest paid-for dating service after Match.com, the affected site is known to connect married individuals based on a short questionnaire that nails down a preferred match.
The hacker group, which identifies as “The Impact Team,” has revealed its reason behind the takeover. It calls AshleyMadison.com to task, along with sister sites Cougar Life and Established Men, for allegedly fooling customers into paying an added fee ($19) to completely erase their profile information.
The Impact Team is taking a stand, as stated in a long manifesto: the flush of data will stop once all sites under the parent media company shut down for good. If not, all private user information will be released to the public.