Millions of married cheaters will be living in fear of being busted after a hacking group has threatened to publish their details – including sexual fantasies, nude pictures, and real names and addresses – following a hack on two dating sites.
The hacking group, calling itself The Impact Team, is threatening to reveal all unless Toronto-based Avid Life Media takes down its cheating site Ashley Madison and dating site Established Men.
The hackers have published some user data, maps of Avid’s company servers, employee network account information, bank account information and salary information.
Avid chief executive Noel Biderman confirmed the hack to security blogger Brian Krebs, calling the intrusion a “criminal act”. The firm reportedly responded quickly to the intrusion, taking down most links to the compromised data within half an hour.
“We have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world. As other companies have experienced, these security measures have unfortunately not prevented this attack to our system,” Avid said in a statement. “At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorised access points. We are working with law enforcement agencies.”
The sites have a combined membership of more than 38 million, the majority from the US and Canada, although UK consumers can also join.
“Avid Life Media will be liable for fraud and extreme harm to millions of users,” the hacking group’s manifesto said, but made no mention of Avid’s other site, Cougar Life, saying only that “other sites” could remain online.
The Impact Team also accused Avid of lying about its service that allows members to erase their profile information for a $19 fee. It said that while the service promises to remove site use history and personally identifiable information, users’ payment details are not in fact removed.
“Full Delete netted Avid $1.7m in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the hacking group wrote.
The hack follows just weeks after Adult Friend Finder, which describes itself as a “thriving sex community,” was attacked, with the personal details of almost 4 million users being laid bare online.
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