Here comes karma! As feared, millions of Ashley Madison (the infidelity site that matches cheating husbands and wives with mistresses and paramours) users’ information was leaked by a team of hackers called the ”Impact Team" on Tuesday, Aug. 18. The leaked information surfaced after Avid Life Media, the company which owns Ashley Madison and similar sites had refused to take down their sites following threats made by hackers last month.
Data released includes customer information, email addresses, and credit card details. The security breach includes 37 million users of Ashley Madison (whose tagline is, "Life is short. Have an affair.") and EstablishedMen.com, according to The Guardian. The information was dumped onto "the Dark Web" which is an underground area of the Internet only accessible by a covert internet browser called "TOR."
The hackers released the following statement to Avid Life Media back in July (when its systems were first compromised), as reported by The Telegraph, "We are the Impact Team. We have taken over all systems in your entire office and production domains, all customer information databases, source code repositories, financial records, emails."
The Impact Team seems to be driven not by money, but by a moral purpose. "Shutting down [Ashley Madison] and [sister-site Established Men] will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more: We will release all customer records, profiles with all the customer’s secret sexual fantasies, nude pictures, and conversations and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails," they said.
Avid Life Media hit back at the hacking team for hurting "innocent" citizens, saying in a statement, "This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities."
The FBI is currently investigating the breach of data.
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