The cyber criminals who hacked into infidelity dating site Ashley Madison's systems and compromised customer data have come good on their promise by releasing a data dump of 9.7 gigabytes - for some 32 million users.
Described by a PR honcho in our last story as a “brand's worst nightmare” after it became the latest brand to be thrust into the hacking limelight following an “unprovoked and criminal intrusion” into its systems, Ashley Madison, which uses the advertising slogan "Life is short. Have an affair," appears to have no control over the fate of the data as its reputation slips further into the abyss.
“We have now learned that the individual or individuals responsible for this attack claim to have released more of the stolen data. We are actively monitoring and investigating this situation to determine the validity of any information posted online and will continue to devote significant resources to this effort,” a spokesperson from the Avid Life Media (ALM) owned company said today.
The bungle meant customer information was accessed and hackers not only have information including customers' secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, but they also have addresses.
An online letter, thought to be from the hackers, which AdNews found online at the time, said despite some of ALM's sites specifically promising "removal of site usage history and personally identifiable information from the site", that this is not true.
While initially revealing a handful of members' names, the hackers have today come good on threats by publishing a far larger amount of member data.
According to Wired, a data dump, 9.7 gigabytes in size, was posted on Tuesday to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser. The files appear to include account details and logins for some 32 million users.
ALV said every week sees new hacks disclosed by companies large and small, and though this may now be a new societal reality, it should not “lessen our outrage”.
“The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society,” an ALM spokesperson added.
“We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world. We are continuing to fully cooperate with law enforcement to seek to hold the guilty parties accountable to the strictest measures of the law.
“We know that there are people out there who know one or more of these individuals, and we invite them to come forward. While we are confident that the authorities will identify and prosecute each of them to the fullest extent of the law, we also know there are individuals out there who can help to make this happen faster.”
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