Well, this was a nice tidbit of news to wake up to — Ashley Madison had their database hacked. According to the Guardian newspaper:
Site’s hackers claim 37m personal records have been stolen from notorious dating site, with Cougar Life and Established Men also compromised.
Hackers have stolen and leaked personal information from online cheating site Ashley Madison, an international dating site with the tagline: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
The site, which encourages married users to cheat on their spouses and advertises 37 million members, had its data hacked by a group calling itself the Impact Team. At least two other dating sites, Cougar Life and Established Men, also owned by the same parent group, Avid Life Media, have had their data compromised.
The Impact Team claims to have complete access to the company’s database, including not only user records for every single member, but also the financial records of ALM and other proprietary information. For now, the group has released just 40MB of data, including credit card details and several ALM documents.
Apparently, it was an inside job.
Noel Biderman, you mean someone you trusted stole something of yours? Something you thought was precious and yours alone? No! Say it isn’t so!
The biggest revelation from the hackers so far is that those records Ashley Madison charges a fee to scrub? They don’t scrub them.
The hackers’ main point of contention is with the fact that Ashley Madison charges users a fee of £15 to carry out a “full delete” of their information if they decide to leave the site. Although users have the option of permanently hiding their profile free of charge, the company’s advertisements claim that the full delete service is the only way to completely remove their information from the servers.
But the hackers say that that claim is “a complete lie”.
Oh my goodness, imagine that. A business predicated on cheating, lies to its customers. Sweet irony thy name is SpankyHoneyCheeks57.
The hackers have already released 40MG of data and demand that the sites must be taken down, or they will release more data.
But the initial leak is just a taster, according to the Impact Team, which accompanied the data with a manifesto threatening release of further information if Ashley Madison and Established Men are not permanently closed.
SpankyHoneyCheeks57 is probably not worried, because SpankyHoneyCheeks57 isn’t his real name. Alas, SpankyHoneyCheeks57 your real name appears on your credit card. Exactly the sort of identifying information the hackers are exposing.
Now, cyber crime is nothing to laugh at. We all rely upon the honesty and transparency of our financial institutions. We should feel safe every time we give our credit card to a vendor that our privacy is protected. This trust is the bond that holds the free market together.
Along comes some anarchist who doesn’t respect the rules of commerce? Who wants to use data for his or her own selfish purposes? Hold it ransom to make a buck?
Life is short. Hack a cheater.