Approximately 37 million people who had signed up on Ashley Madison had
their personal information leaked on Tuesday. An anonymous hacking group,
called Impact Team, have come forward to take responsibility. One of the
reasons they had targeted the site was the fact that Ashley Madison was
charging its users to delete their personal data, as well as the history
of messages to other members.
What Is Ashley Madison?
Ashley Madison was designated as an online dating website to allow married,
or people in long-term, committed relationships have an affair. Their
tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair.” While women make
up a small sliver of users, the overwhelming majority are male, about
90-95%. Some research has shown that of the female users, many of the
profiles are fake or advertisements for sex workers.
This is list of data uncovered from the hack:
- Email addresses
- Types of partners being sought
- Sexual preferences and fantasies
- Credit card data
Some opinions suspect that many users likely looked, but never actually
pursued an affair. The disparity between the numbers of men and women,
also, may have detracted from the overall number of heterosexual affairs
facilitated through Ashley Madison.
What We Know So Far
In an ironic twist, the data breach is a failure of its very tenet: enabling
affairs. The clandestine aspect has been erased. The data is available
for the entire public to view. Ashley Madison’s parent company,
Avid Life Media, has also had vital information about its business leaked
to the problem. The hack also released information on several media personalities,
including Josh Duggar, who was only recently accused of molestation.
Many of the marriages affected may likely seek counsel from a divorce attorney
to discuss their options for moving forward from this episode. Until then,
we can only hope that there is a remedy to stop the bleeding before the
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