July 19, 2015

Large caches of data stolen from online cheating site AshleyMadison.com have been posted online by an individual or group that claims to have completely compromised the company’s user databases, financial records and other proprietary information. The still-unfolding leak could be quite damaging to some 37 million users of the hookup service, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”


The data released by the hacker or hackers — which self-identify as The Impact Team — includes sensitive internal data stolen from Avid Life Media (ALM), the Toronto-based firm that owns AshleyMadison as well as related hookup sites Cougar Life and Established Men.

Reached by KrebsOnSecurity late Sunday evening, ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman confirmed the hack, and said the company was “working diligently and feverishly” to take down ALM’s intellectual property. Indeed, in the short span of 30 minutes between that brief interview and the publication of this story, several of the Impact Team’s Web links were no longer responding.

“We’re not denying this happened,” Biderman said. “Like us or not, this is still a criminal act.”

Besides snippets of account data apparently sampled at random from among some 40 million users across ALM’s trio of properties, the hackers leaked maps of internal company servers, employee network account information, company bank account data and salary information.

The compromise comes less than two months after intruders stole and leaked online user data on millions of accounts from hookup site AdultFriendFinder.

In a long manifesto posted alongside the stolen ALM data, The Impact Team said it decided to publish the information in response to alleged lies ALM told its customers about a service that allows members to completely erase their profile information for a $19 fee.

According to the hackers, although the “full delete” feature that Ashley Madison advertises promises “removal of site usage history and personally identifiable information from the site,” users’ purchase details — including real name and address — aren’t actually scrubbed.

“Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the hacking group wrote. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”

Their demands continue:

“Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. The other websites may stay online.”

A snippet of the message left behind by the Impact Team.

A snippet of the message left behind by the Impact Team.

It’s unclear how much of the AshleyMadison user account data has been posted online. For now, it appears the hackers have published a relatively small percentage of AshleyMadison user account data and are planning to publish more for each day the company stays online.

“Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion,” the hackers continued. “Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver. We’ve got the complete set of profiles in our DB dumps, and we’ll release them soon if Ashley Madison stays online. And with over 37 million members, mostly from the US and Canada, a significant percentage of the population is about to have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people.”

ALM CEO Biderman declined to discuss specifics of the company’s investigation, which he characterized as ongoing and fast-moving. But he did suggest that the incident may have been the work of someone who at least at one time had legitimate, inside access to the company’s networks — perhaps a former employee or contractor.

“We’re on the doorstep of [confirming] who we believe is the culprit, and unfortunately that may have triggered this mass publication,” Biderman said. “I’ve got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials. It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services.”

As if to support this theory, the message left behind by the attackers gives something of a shout out to ALM’s director of security.

“Our one apology is to Mark Steele (Director of Security),” the manifesto reads. “You did everything you could, but nothing you could have done could have stopped this.”

Several of the leaked internal documents indicate ALM was hyper aware of the risks of a data breach. In a Microsoft Excel document that apparently served as a questionnaire for employees about challenges and risks facing the company, employees were asked “In what area would you hate to see something go wrong?”

Trevor Stokes, ALM’s chief technology officer, put his worst fears on the table: “Security,” he wrote. “I would hate to see our systems hacked and/or the leak of personal information.”

In the wake of the AdultFriendFinder breach, many wondered whether AshleyMadison would be next. As the Wall Street Journal noted in a May 2015 brief titled “Risky Business for AshleyMadison.com,” the company had voiced plans for an initial public offering in London later this year with the hope of raising as much as $200 million.

“Given the breach at AdultFriendFinder, investors will have to think of hack attacks as a risk factor,” the WSJ wrote. “And given its business’s reliance on confidentiality, prospective AshleyMadison investors should hope it has sufficiently, er, girded its loins.”

Update, 8:58 a.m. ET: ALM has released the following statement about this attack:

“We were recently made aware of an attempt by an unauthorized party to gain access to our systems. We immediately launched a thorough investigation utilizing leading forensics experts and other security professionals to determine the origin, nature, and scope of this incident.”

“We apologize for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information. The current business world has proven to be one in which no company’s online assets are safe from cyber-vandalism, with Avid Life Media being only the latest among many companies to have been attacked, despite investing in the latest privacy and security technologies.”

“We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds, and have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world. As other companies have experienced, these security measures have unfortunately not prevented this attack to our system.”

“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. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber–terrorism will be held responsible.”

“Avid Life Media has the utmost confidence in its business, and with the support of leading experts in IT security, including Joel Eriksson, CTO, Cycura, we will continue to be a leader in the services we provide. “I have worked with leading companies around the world to secure their businesses. I have no doubt, based on the work I and my company are doing, Avid Life Media will continue to be a strong, secure business,” Eriksson said.”

798 thoughts on “Online Cheating Site AshleyMadison Hacked

  1. Kay Moore

    Too Bad So Sad! You play, You Pay. Seems like the younger generation seems to have forgotten this rule.

  2. itechnique

    The Impact have any relation to “MASSAXIS” in any way? So real with bizarre stuff going on where communities are beginning to police themselves. Exposing liars and cheats no matter how untouchable they may think they are. WoW!

  3. The real Kat

    Hi, I noticed that someone else was using the user name “Kat”. I am the one with the cheating husband on the website “Seeking Arrangements”.

    To: Alice, Mark D. and JamesHater, let me tell you a few things, it’s not all about the money, and I worked just as hard as he did and the Province of Alberta states that the matrimonial property is to be split 50/50 period amen. I look at it this way. Why should he be able to pay hookers, and not provide in the home front. Thats like alcoholics that drink the grocery money away.

    My goodness some of the awful language on here. People have more class when they can get there meaning across without all of the superlative vulgarities.

    What is interesting to me about this blog is that I believe that my soon to be ex-husband is amongst you, reading these comments and probably giving his 2 cents, for what it is worth. I hope he is reading mine. Honestly, this is not about $$$$$. And yes, there is $$$$$ involved.

    And just so you know I am not or have ever been high maintenance. I have always been thrifty and shopped at thrift stores and volunteer at many other worthy causes and have worked both inside and outside of the home.

    It is more about the psychological and emotional abuse that I sustained at the hands of my narcissistic entitled spouse. He was leading a double life. Going to work at 4:00 a.m., and coming home late. I did everything I could to make his home life a happy and healthy one.

    I know now that his cheating on me with on line dating sites or hook up sites and also “Prostitution Sites”, was going on for years.
    What I did not state in my first post was that he brought me home a STD. Wow, I am 55 years old and I guess I may be lucky, but it starts with a G and ends with an A. I guess it could be worse and I could have contracted HIV. It happens.

    What people do not realize, or the men and women who hook up to have sex on these sites, is that in reality they are all sleeping with each other. Giving each other STD’s and bringing it home to the “significant other.

    The STD that I received from my spouse led me to have other physical complications. When you are married and put your trust in your spouse, you never expect in your wildest nightmares that they would bring home a STD.

    Cheating on a spouse or partner is basically a selfish act. It is a betrayal of the most sacred covenant, “Marriage”.

    I am an ex-cop. Retired. I knew in my gut that he was cheating. He treated me like crap. There was financial abuse in the marriage. I did not know anything about our finances because he did not tell me. In fact…I do not mind saying I was scared of him. He is most likely a sociopath, granted but a very successful one,

    And furthermore, It was not all of his money, its half of mine. So; in fact my soon to be ex spouse has been for years using the marital assets to further his addiction and spend on young women, while I was at home taking care of his needs. And please I will not even respond to and if I do, it will be with laughter to those who say that I did not fulfill his sexual needs.

    Also, this person was also a hiprocate,

    There was also sexual abuse within the marriage as well, and when I refused to go along with any more abuse he decided to go out of the marriage and find someone else to abuse.

    What is interesting to me is that I recently went on the Seeking Arrangement site and discovered that my soon to be ex-spouse has created another profile and has his pictures for everyone to see. It did not take a hacker for the world to see just how sick he is.

    You never know until something like this happens to you and you have to live out the reality of it. Betrayal can break your heart and kill your spirit. But I will not let it.

    Perhaps this whole premise of cheating has become personal for me. Still, trying to remain objective and read all of the comments, and even the ones that do not like mine, I still respect your point of view.



  4. 37millionfakes

    Morons here do not see what these so called hackers are trying to do … Scare you 37 million jackasses to pay up. Just a dollar each and they walk away with 37 million dollars. Nuff said

  5. Marc

    It’s easy for some to say without hesitation that cheater’s justice is justified for all the rich philanderers on Ashmad. But imagine a couple possible scenarios:
    1. Brad realizes five years into his marriage that he is gay. He looks to the Internet for secretive trysts with other make lovers while he tries to hold his marriage together.
    2. Tracy is a single mother, a private-school psychologist who opened her AM account after her ex-husband had stopped sleeping with her.
    Now what words do you use to explain to their young children that, in the wake of an Impact Team posting,
    A. Brad’s been outed, and served with divorce papers.
    B. Tracy was fired from her job.
    Unlikely you say? We are talking not just about 37 million uses, but 37 million people, imperfect humans, most struggling with life, most with families. You can hate them, hurt them, enjoy their suffering, and the fate of their loved ones. But then what does that say about you?

    1. Scourge2

      Brad, Tracy, and the millions of others like them are lying, cheating scum who deserve everything bad thing that happens to them and more. You should save your sentiments for the people whose lives are wrecked by their cheating spouses.

      Furthermore, Mark, I don’t give a damn about what that says about me.

      1. Mark

        How do I see the list ? I search and all I find is “news” about the hacked list but no links to the actual list or PDF

      2. Wzrd1

        Who in the hell do you think you are, deciding who may or may not do what?
        Indeed, what qualifies you to be the moral judge of anything more than the burger that you flip for a living?

        The home of the fee and the land of the brave has turned into the home of the do whatever a minority wants or else and the home of the craven.

    2. meghan

      THAT STILL DOES NOT MAKE OK FOR A MARRIED MAN/ WOMAN TO ENGAGE IN THIS SORT OF THING THIS IS WRONG ON ALL TERMS FOR PEOPLE TO DATE / SEX AN DISREGARD A MARRAIGE FROM EITHER SIDE PEOPLE DOING THIS DESERVE THE KARMA THEY’VE PUT OUT…(they cannot be trusted, SHOULDNT be trusted by anyone) once a cheater ALWAYS a cheater. its been proven in certain genetics that if its in your blood, you cant erase it! DUH

    3. Smarter Than Y'all...

      Marc, when we write anything we are only revealing ourselves. From your writing I will never allow you into my world. Your ability to rationalize bad behavior reveals emotional immaturity. I could never trust you to be a part of my world: I would never hire you, never leave you alone with my children, never loan you money – all because you have expressed that you believe bad behavior is justified. I wish you the best but with your lack of ethics and sincere morality I do not believe you will ever find contentment or happiness. Think of this posting as a notice to grow-up.

  6. David Mudgee

    It’s wonderful. Release the customer details people! A lot of people’s lives will be overthrown (divorce and so on) and ideas they have in common, that don’t resonate with everyone else in general, will be hit also. Now to make sense of that: I’m in Australia and a lot of people have … er … gained employment, that’s it… in an invented thing called the Senior Executive Service, high ranking bureaucrats who don’t need to know what the department does – but belong to a certain political party. And if your wife finds you browsing the dinner party photos you’ll have trouble getting your dinner for a month. As for the ideas circulating in the party social structure you’d best study Gladstone, a British politician who specialised in appearing to be what he was not, and the how the Nazis administered Germany and their own party before the war. I kid you not. They will be hit hard from this. A party mystique is that your rewards come from your leader (that isn’t everyone in the party, but it happens). And if you’re not enjoying those rewards…

  7. kat

    oh anonymous, I think you doth protest too much.

  8. kat

    I am an American and believe in the first amendment. Which is the is the right to free speech, religion, and the right to lawful assembly. What the framers of he constitution did not bargin for was the World Wide Web filled with so many intelligent opinions and also smart asses in this world. It’s a shame really, what this has all come down to.

    Because when I was in College I studied and have a degree in Constitutional law. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of The United States states that : A right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be Infringed.

    My interpetration of this amendment is that IMPACT TEAM, is within it’s duties and boundaries of he constitution as we know it in this century. Certainly not as the founders found it., but they never knew the WWB.

    Sorry about the grammatical errors in this comment. Long Day.,

    I do fervently think that everyone has a right to free speech, especially when it is to expose those who exploit others. Even if they are cheaters.

    Perhaps it is possible that Impact Team may be teaching us all a lesson..,

    Although I am one…. you have my vote!!!

    1. Nat

      So, your education is based on what people thought 200 years ago, a lot has changed since then.. maybe you should have got a more relevant degree. It doesn’t make you an expert on anything except archaic american laws.

  9. kat

    Hi Brian,

    This the first time I have ever responded to any article or blog or thread on line. I thing your article was very thought provoking and is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m impressed.

  10. Bob

    Having been happily married for the last 33 years and never cheated, I am irritated that people judge.
    What right do any of you have to judge someone other than yourself.

    The criminals in this are the people that hacked data and released names of people that may or may not have done the wrong thing.
    If the company was also paid to delete data and did not, then it also can answer for that breach.
    But shame on all of you for judging others.

    You have no clue what is happening in someone else s life.
    So what if there is a company that puts two people together. I understand the intent of the web site but again it’s not up to anyone to judge someone elses behavior.

    1. Xena

      Bob and Marc, you both have it right. And I just “love” all these rubberneckers on this comments thread who judge and ridicule others. While you judge people… Just remember to be perfect for the rest of your life.

      You have no clue what some of those people are going through. Maybe they’re married to a paraplegic and have no sex life. Maybe they’re married to an alcoholic who refuses treatment. Maybe the marriage is broken but neither can survive on their own economically speaking. I’m not saying cheating is right… But you can’t be so damn near sighted and believe your morality trumps every unique situation. I bet most of the poor me poor me women on here wouldn’t have a problem if a woman was on there seeking someone else because her husband was beating on her, and she was too afraid to leave. Or maybe he threatened to take her children if she ever tried. Use some compassion and empathy before you start throwing around judgement. None of these people deserve to be outed. But the hackers certainly deserve prosecution. Their misguided attempt to shut down something THEY decided was immoral is causing a catastrophic level of collateral damage.

      1. Scott

        “Maybe they’re married to a paraplegic..” Maybe they are married to a perfectly wonderful person and are just perverted. Maybe they have a great family and choose to be dirt balls. I do judge. As do you “Xena”. You judge every single day. The actions of cheaters are self-centered and self seeking. These actions destroy other people’s lives and screw up the emotional lives of children. Any one who tries to minimize these actions is either a.) a former or current cheater, or b.)a person of low moral character. Spend your sympathies on someone more deserving. Adultery is a truly repugnant thing.

        1. Nesto

          The collateral damage this will cause is huge. There are many on that site that are swingers who want to keep it private. There are many on the site in marriages kept together solely because of children. There are many on there with open marriages. Some of you may also have parents or grandparents or aunts or uncles, brothers & sisters. Who have in the past or present, had a rondevouz that you will never know, secrets taken to the GRAVE by many. You live your life not knowing and all is good. Yet, you are willing to ruin families lives because you feel it is right? Imagine, being a child in school… And one of your peers finds your mothers name on a site… Claiming she slept with another man out of marriage. Child is ridiculed, and teased…. Later commits suicide. All because some tool behind a computer screen….. Feels what goes on in privacy of people’s bedrooms are everyone’s right to know? Odds are, that family would have been fine… If it wasn’t for some nosey people. If you are Christians, which many of you claim… Let God be the judge, not you.

          1. Chris

            A repentant man’s plea
            I beg of the Impact Team, hackers of Ashley Madison to not release those names. I am guilty. One day it hit me like a ton of brick of what I had done and what I had become! I repented of my shameful act. There have been hundreds of nights where I have quietly wept myself to sleep. Numerous mornings wept on the way to work and wept coming back home under the weight of this sin. Have asked God to forgive me of my sins but could not possibly face my wife, kid and all those incredible extended family on both sides who will be severely hurt by this should it become public knowledge. I see no way I could face anyone ever and I am sure there are so many others like me who have repented and turn around, but if it become public I will have no choice but to commit one more grave sin and only hope that God will forgive me that one too. Life will not be worth living anymore.
            Please HAVE MERCY on me a sinner, who has repented. Have mercy on all of us and forgive us.

            1. Jenn M

              Boo Hoo Hoo, when you were doing it you sure had no care,respect, love or concern for your wife’s health mental or physical or your children and what it would do to them. So you got away with your dirty little secret. Hope you at least leave them a big life insurance policy!

            2. V

              To Chris, the repentant. Your an absolute coward. You’ve cheated on your partner and, quite clearly, kept it secret. Grow a pair and take ownership of your own actions. So called “repenting” does not erase what you have done to your partner in any way. Your repenting is all about “you” and making “you” feel better about what “you” have done to your innocent partner. Again, your a f_cking coward by keeping this filthy little lie from the one you married. Oh, did I mention your a coward. This is reinforced by your suggestion that you’ll end your life if this information gets out. Again, the cowards way out. Don’t face what you’ve done, just take the easy cowards way out. Think of all the people that will be impacted by this way of dealing with getting caught for being cheating pig. You are what I refer to as a waste of space and a pathetic excuse for a partner. Repentant? Coward!

          2. BriX

            The truth shall set you free. …but the truth is rarely easy.

            I feel sorry for the people this will hurt but I don’t think it is wrong for the Impact Team to release this information.

            There were no doubt countless people who signed up on AM just to “look around” and never followed through with an affair. Should they be exposed, I would feel very sorry for them – we are all only human after all. But…living in emotional pain and disappointment in your unhappy marriage just to maintain status quo is really no better… is it?

            Perhaps the exposure of these people will allow them to really be honest with their partners and heal their relationship, or end it as it should be ended. Who’s to say what scenario is ultimately better?

          3. Marc

            Thank you Xena and Nesto for your thoughts. No matter what the “lying cheaters” deserve, outing them will do more social damage to the innocents in their lives than good. No, the little kids who see their parents fight or split won’t be better off. The dominatrix with a paraplegic husband won’t find a better job. The Impact Team did a good job of making some people think twice about their behavior. But if they really mean well they will erase what they stole. They won’t put AM out of business. They will put many families and communities in disarray. If we have s social problem with infidelity, there are less Puritanical and humane ways of approaching a solution. And the Impact Team will only succeed if the public ignores their crimes and moral superiority, and demonstrates a prurient interest in their claims. Ignore their posts and we won’t be any worse off. It reminds me of the success of The Islamic State at achieving their goals through public relations. We can choose not to view beheadings. We can choose not to read intrusions of privacy.

        2. Wzrd1

          Interesting small sized world you live in, Scott.
          You judge based upon prejudices, religious intolerance (to gauge from your verbiage) and a very strict sample size.

          First, judge not, lest ye be judged accordingly.
          Second, the world is a complex place that fixed views serve one ill in.
          Finally, I’m happily married for 33 years, in December we’ll be married for 34 years. I’m also supremely capable of keeping my member in my pants, save for bathroom usage or some pleasurable moments with my wife. I also hold a security clearance, one that attests to my unimpeachable character.

          So, kindly grow up and realize that the entire world isn’t strictly black and white, but has graduated hues present as well and everyone isn’t rubber stamped people. Different people have different problems, issues and preferences in resolving them.
          Because, the simple reality of things is this, people are not going to live and do as you wish and if you try to force them, be prepared for major problems in your life, as people want to do as they desire to do and will resist heavily any attempt to force them into compliance with a small minded, judgmental peon.

          Or more simply, before you attempt to remove the mote from your neighbor’s eye, take the board out of yours.

          1. meghan

            ovcourse the world isn’t black and white, But disregarding a promise you took is…

    2. meghan

      I can understand what your saying BUT this particular site was MADE for pple who want to cheat and pple who don’t care if their date is married or not. its about pple on willful terms an both sides disregarding a vow one or both took in order to have pleasure… if someone wants to date go to a SINGLES site not something like this…

  11. Riya

    who use the Internet to perform Crimes and Destruction against others. not a tell me …..

  12. bored

    So I’ve just read this story and a couple of comments and thought I would share. I had an AM account. I’m married, happily, but one night after I’d had a couple of drinks I clicked on an ad out of, I dunno, curiosity. I set up an account, briefly looked at some profiles, closed the account and never thought of it again until this week.

    I’m not a cheater, but yes, when I fantasise, it’s not my wife. Sorry, that’s how it is. I’m sure that the vast majority of ‘users’ of the site are men like me. Men who haven’t cheated, but briefly enjoyed the fantasy that if they wanted to, they could.

    1. Scott

      The problem with the internet is that nothing is EVER truly secret. Ever. I have made my own mistakes online with the copious amounts of debauchery available on the internet.

      I made a concerted effort to quit looking at porn. In three years I relapsed one time. It took will and setting personal limitations, even just refusing to use a computer for a couple months. It was extremely good for me.

      My wife had asked me if I looked at porn, I decided to tell her the truth.

      It hurt, she was hurt (as she had a right to be) and I got an opportunity to show true love to the woman I vowed to be faithful to. I got to be honest, I got to experience her forgiveness, and I got to quit the self-destructive habit of being addicted to lusting after other women. It was unbelievably freeing!

      I don’t know you, I don’t judge you, but if you read this I ask you to consider being faithful to your wife even in your mind. Lusting after other women could kill your marriage. It damages your relationship with your wife emotionally and sexually. She should be desired by you. I’m sure you love her and would want the best for her. She deserves all of you brother, mind too.

      Don’t swallow the lie that you are a slave to sexual desires or fantasies. I applaud you for not cheating, thanks for sharing. Wish you the best.

      1. Wzrd1

        Odd, my wife of 33+ years watches porn with me.
        Each person finds the path better suited to retain a long term relationship. Not all can follow one path or another and the couple finds their own path.

        1. markD

          “Odd, my wife of 33+ years watches porn with me.”

          Yes, watching porn with your wife (or vice versa) is what is odd.

  13. Forebode

    -illegal- to take money for a service and not perform the service (not deleting the data)
    -illegal-to hack into a site in most countries
    -illegal-to steal data in most countries
    -illegal-to prostitute (accept money for sexual favors) in most states.
    -illegal-to cheat on spouse in 21 states, possibility to charge/fine all participants.
    -Certain cities will post a name and a picture of prostitutes.
    -illegal-to give up users personal information to a third party without consent.
    -illegal-to extort.
    +Perhaps all those involved on the site, should be separated by state and sent to their respecting states law enforcement.
    +Those states that don’t have those laws, the names and data should be destroyed.
    =as for ruining peoples lives. If this ruins someone’s live, they obvious that it was known, prior to the hack, that it was shady.
    =Imaging your husband or wife is using this service, do you think it’s better that it stay hidden or would you like to know about it?
    =Judging is what people do. Saying people aren’t allowed to judge is ridiculous. If you didn’t judge, you wouldn’t be able to learn from peoples mistakes.

    1. Wzrd1

      I see you know nothing whatsoever about law.
      First, adultery statutes are largely extinct and there hasn’t been a prosecution within my lifetime.
      Second, you want to use illegally obtained information to prosecute someone. That is the fruit of a poisonous tree and is inadmissible.
      Finally, two wrongs don’t make a right.

      As far as this information security professional is concerned, I hope that the criminal who illegally accessed data on systems not owned by him, goes to prison for a long, long time and that those already doxed win every asset that criminal will ever possess.

      When we find it acceptable for someone to commit a felony to promote a moral cause, anarchy will be the end result. That’s been well proved in the anti-abortion movement, where murders and bombings result from doxing and insistence of one specific morality over rule of law. We see it with ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
      Maybe you want to live like that, but having fought such people in war, I do not want that nonsense anywhere near this nation that I defended for so many decades.

  14. JON

    Is there a site up with the names they already released. I need to see this…

  15. Jim Stick

    The impact will be huge, I imagine. Could even destroy a country.

    1. Wzrd1

      Let’s see, a bit over 10% exposed, a fair number likely have a spouse who is aware of the patronage of the site.
      Let’s say 8% have marital problems and employment problems. 8% of the populace being unemployed hasn’t destroyed the nation, this won’t either.

      9/11 was a terror attack that killed 3000 people, including one family member and two personal friends of mine.
      Nobody is being ground to dust in collapsing buildings, burning or falling to their deaths.
      No war is about to be waged over this.

      I ponder an interesting phrase I’ve heard, “Hearing one talk just to hear their head roar”.

  16. Jim Stick

    I suppose this news has something to do with all these women I see out in public, dragging suitcases, sobbing.

  17. Mitch

    It just amazes me how many people are willing to justify a crime. If someone was a victim of an armed robbery, would you go through their life’s record of events to see if they are worthy of having due process for the crime just committed against them? Is this society now in the business of judging everyone that has a crime committed against them before we afford them the rights of the so called innocent victim? A crime was committed against a company that effects millions of people, and people are going to sit around discussing whether a “crime” was justified?

    Wow…. Just as a side note. I would never cheat and believe the act of cheating is devastating to all the parties involved, especially the children. With that said, …. Really people?

  18. Wzrd1

    So, the company believes it was a contractor or other external worker that had access to the network.
    What does that suggest?
    At a minimum, a lax account policy, at a maximum, excessive rights given to administrators and lax account policies.
    Contractors should only have access when still under contract, when the contract ends, access ends. One can even go more stringent that the contractor only has access when “on the clock” and access is removed off hours.
    When the contractor or employee leaves, access is immediately revoked.
    Access is granted at the minimum necessary to conduct one’s duties.
    To judge from the words spoken by the company officer, none of those protections were enacted.
    It also appears that PCI standards weren’t followed, otherwise, payment data wouldn’t have also been part of the breech.

    Oh well, at least this breach didn’t impact me. I’m only impacted by the OPM breach.
    Fortunately, I know who got that data and know how to spot their spear phishing and I read the mail header before reading the e-mail.

  19. karma

    Here is my opinion:

    Cheaters just think about themselves. They are self-centered.
    My father is a cheater or was, anyways he cheated on my mom.
    He did not think about his family, specifically his children. Let me tell you, it was not easy for my brother and I and especially my mother. Why would you want to put your children (if you have children) through this? It fucked us up. Imagine growing up without a mother or father. Someone to look up to, someone to teach you values and morals. Its alllll gone. Out the fucking door. It definitely ruines lives. So for all those that are currently cheating on their spouses. Stop thinking about yourself and start thinking how you can imporve your situation and most importsntly your relationship. Talk to each other, reveal what frustrates you and with comprimise things can be changed.
    Yes I know some are sick injured but you can work around those things. If you love someone you should not cheat on them becuase after you ruine your family you realize its the best thing you ever had. But it is too late. I think of my father all the time and how much I miss him, and how big of a douche bag he was. I think ive forgiven him but what is ruined is ruined and cannot be fixed. End of rant. Lol

  20. SumRando

    Hopefully the Ashley Madison breach will clarify what the Adult Friend Finder breach did not: dating websites do not make users’ privacy their top priority.

    CEO Noel Biderman has referred to Ashley Madison as a “sociology experiment” and to himself as the “gatekeeper” of its data. In this role, he invited couples and sex therapist Dr. Eve to use the Ashley Madison database in order to research a recently published book.

    Ashley Madison is one of many platforms with a history of using aggregate data to its advantage. The Impact Team was perhaps wrong in its approach, but made a valid point nonetheless: protect users’ privacy honestly and fairly, or shut down.

  21. M.

    Well done – as things stand it’s totally irrelevant if someone (man/woman) was or was not involved on AshMad.
    If any name gets published, even if totally invented, there’s no possible justification or excuse.
    Interesting to see how easy is for criminals to earn trust and damage honest people.

  22. t


    Some anonymous hackers are speculating on the Web that the hackers will eventually sell the users list on the “blackhat” market. Can you explain who can potentially buy this list and how they would then make monney with it ? Would it be by blackmailing users? sending porn publicity to the users email ? Use credit card info for fraudulent transaction ? ( I would imagine that most users have that heard about the hack have by now cancel their credit card so that may not be an option)

  23. tyu


    Some anonymous hackers are speculating on the Web that the hackers will eventually sell the users list on the “blackhat” market. Can you explain who can potentially buy this list and how they would then make monney with it ? Would it be by blackmailing users? sending porn publicity to the users email ? Use credit card info for fraudulent transaction ? ( I would imagine that most users have that heard about the hack have by now cancel their credit card so that may not be an option)

    Thanks for your feedback

    1. Peter Turner

      Most of would be used for identity theft.
      Once you have the address and bank details etc of a person it becomes very easy to pretend to be them when applying for new credit cards say (requires easy access to the physical mailboxes so a block of flats might be a target).
      The bigger fish is trafficking people. You could have enough information to order a replacement passport of the person for the first example. Would the real person wouldn’t know until they have entered travelling. In the meantime there’s a 10000 replacement passports being used to trafficking people into countries which is very lucrative.

      Plenty more xamplea of how identity theft can benefit criminals – from caching in cheques to selling a person’s estate.

      That’s why that ifs it true that so much and so detailed data got stolen it would be the biggest of its kind and also worth astronomical amounts of money if sold.
      Just a brief introduction really 🙂 hope that helps put the the theft into context (if true)

  24. Jan

    Interesting that the Impact Group seems to be implying that only cheating men are on the site, or at least its the men who they are going to target. I don’t know much about AM. Is it actually an online brothel for freelance prostitutes? I guess that would make the women not be cheaters, just prostitutes therefore they aren’t guilty of anything but prostitution. So why are they making out that only men are cheating dirtbags, etc. ? Are they just sexist hackers or what? (The massive indignation about adultery is pretty funny since a large percentage of both married men and women have at least one affair during their marriage. From Jim Baker to Bill Clinton, who’s fooling who here?)

  25. Jenn M

    Good for the hackers, I hope they post all the information on all the scumbags! The husband/wife that is being cheated on needs to know. Yes it will hurt, a lot, my husband committed adultery he was having sex with both of us on a regular basis, when I found out it destroyed me, I wanted to die, along with the fear of diseases he could have subjected me to, I still am terrified of possible aids. 25 years and I found out a marriage certificate and honor and morality meant zero, just a piece of paper that burned in a few seconds.

    For the ones that were cheated on there still are states that have laws where you can file for divorce based on grounds of adultery, called “for fault divorce” instead of “no fault divorce”, and you can sue the other party for alienation of affection and get $$$$$. I am relocating to one of those states. Bet she will think twice before destroying another marriage, plus I will end up with more of our assets than my husband because of his cheating. And I used to consider her a friend? It took them both, and yes I am out for revenge, THEY BOTH destroyed my marriage, they took my marriage, my husband, my family (I have no family so his family was all the family I had), my home (I cannot live in a town where they are), my trust and 25 years of my life. I hope they think it is worth it in the end!

    When all is said and done if I can I am going to publish the divorce papers in our local small town paper, if it is legal to do so. HE does not want anyone to know, especially our church members and close Christian friends, because he put on a good front of being such a nice good Christian guy. This affair went on for two years.

    AND that is not counting the fact that he tried to murder me by hitting me with our truck and when that didn’t kill me was trying to back over me when a lady came along and saved me. I am hoping his just wanting a happy life without me gets him 10 to 20 in prison.

    I hope the hackers not only get money but release all the names and information, put it in the local papers or whatever they can do, it takes money to hack and make the information public so I think they should make something off it, and I hope they continue to do this sort of work.

    Adultery is a crime in many states, I believe 23 states in all. Check it out folks, call an attorney in those states and see if you can file for alienation of affection also, and what the chances are for $$$$$ for the #####.

    I am very sad and heartbroken right now but when he is in prison and she’s many $$ poorer I think I will be much happier! And richer to go on with my new life.

  26. V

    To me, it’s simple. Unless you have an open relationship where it’s agreed (on both sides of that relationship) that screwing other people is acceptable, you should not be cheating. It’s black and white! When cheating occurs, there are innocent victims. Those people deserve better than that, irrespective of the situation. There has been a lot of talk about the law and quadraplegics and whatever but if there is a scenario that leads you to cheating then deal with ‘that’ situation. Cheating is never the resolution. I don’t care about the people who stole this information or wether it was right or wrong. These sorts of situations happen and if you think you are safe in being a member of any site of this nature, then your an idiot. We can call the people who stole this information criminals but there are 37 million people worldwide that made a conscious decision to cheat on their partners. These people made their bed, now they have to lie in it. If I was the partner of someone who was a member of this site, I would want to know. BRING IT ON. Let’s get that information out there and let the cards fall where they will. I’m not a religious nut or anything but I do believe in the union of partners and do not believe that infidelity has any place in a relationship (unless it’s mutually agreed)…

  27. Share short story online

    agreed…..Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances.

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