Ashley Madison, an online dating site for people looking to cheat on their partners, has been hacked and gigabytes of user data stolen. The hackers has released a small portion of the information to prove that they have it and have issued an ultimatum to the site.
Impact Team, the hackers responsible for the attack, have demanded that Ashley Madison cease operations. The group has also demanded that Ashley Madison sister site – Established Men – be shut down at the same time. Where Ashley Madison is all about having affairs and cheating on spouses, Established Men is about connecting “attractive girls with successful and generous benefactors” (which the hackers claim is a fancy prostitution ring).
Failure to comply with Impact Team’s demands will result in all customer data from both sites being released on the internet. The hackers note that this includes profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.
Compounding this problem for the Ashley Madison team is the fact that the company has not kept its promise of deleting customer records. The company has a policy in place where it promised to delete entire profiles if the customer paid a $19 (about RM72) fee. However, the leaked information indicates that the company did not uphold its side of the deal.
While the potential release of sensitive user information may be a problem for Ashley Madison customers, there is little sympathy for the site. The services it provides is controversial at best, and it is generally considered to exist in the seedier side of the internet.