Ashley Madison, the infamous website for infidelity, has been hacked. The hacking is bigger than the celebrity photo hack of last year. Ashley Madison is one of the largest dating sites, with over 37 million anonymous members members and now their information has been compromised. The Guardian reported that Established Men and Cougar Life have also had their data compromised. They are also owned by Avid Life Media Inc, the same parent company as Ashley Madison.
The Impact Team have claimed responsibility for the hack. They took over the Ashley Madison homepage and wrote a message demanding that Ashley Madison and their related site Established Men “be shut down immediately permanently.” In the message overlaid on the homepage, The Impact Team claimed to have hacked into production domains, all customer information databases, source code repositories, financial records, emails and all systems in the entire Ashley Madison office.
They are demanding that Ashley Madison and Established Men be shut down forever or they “will release all customer records.” Those private records include profiles, real names and addresses, bank account details, information on their sexual fantasies and nude photos.
Krebs On Security reported that they have already leaked company information including maps of company servers, company bank account details and employee information. They also reported that the hackers carried out the attack because of the difficulty of deleting user profiles from the site. Ashley Madison claim that for $20 they will do a “full delete” and clear all a user’s information but the hackers claim the website keeps personal details including addresses and purchase details.
Avid Life Media Inc, the parent company of the websites, released a statement acknowledging the cyber attack but did not address how much data may have been comprised. They stated that they have been able to secure the websites again and the attack is under investigation:
“At this time, we have been able to secure our sites and close the unauthorized access points. We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act.”
The Guardian reported that Avid Life Media Inc believe they have identified the perpetrator of the attack and that it was an inside job. They believe it isn’t an employee but someone who has worked on their technical services.
(Photo: Ashley Madison)