Hackers responsible for hacking Ashley Madison have carried out their threats and dumped a massive amount of stolen user data on the internet. Impact Team, the hackers in question, sought to shut down the website and prevent it from continuing to facilitate people cheating on their spouses.
This latest data dump contains a list of names, logins, and email addresses from all Ashley Madison users from the last seven years. At its peak, the website claimed to have as many as 40 million users; which should provide an idea of how much information is contained in these text files.
Interestingly, the data files appear to indicate that much of the information is not stored on Ashley Madison servers; as a file containing credit card transactions did not include complete credit card number or billing addresses. Additionally, passwords are cryptographically protected using the bcrypt hashing algorithm; which makes it incredibly difficult to crack them. The easiest and most common passwords will probably be worked out very quickly by hackers, but anything other than that will take a terrifyingly long time decrypt.
This is only the latest episode in a series of major data breaches of large companies. Although, it is one of the few that has displayed at least some form of encryption to prevent passwords from being stolen.
The aftermath of this breach is currently unknown. At the very least people who have been using the service to cheat on their spouses have now been revealed, which could lead to a spike in divorce cases. However, it could also lead to increased number of blackmailing attempts. Either way, anyone who used the service is about to have a very interesting life.
[Source: Ars Technica]