February 7, 2023

KrebsOnSecurity will likely have a decent amount of screen time in an upcoming Hulu documentary series about the 2015 megabreach at marital infidelity site Ashley Madison. While I can’t predict what the producers will do with the video interviews we shot, it’s fair to say the series will explore compelling new clues as to who may have been responsible for the attack.

The new docuseries produced by ABC News Studios and Wall to Wall Media is tentatively titled, “The Ashley Madison Affair,” and is slated for release on Hulu in late Spring 2023. Wall to Wall Media is part of the Warner Bros. International Television Production group.

“Featuring exclusive footage and untold firsthand interviews from those involved, the series will explore infidelity, morality, cyber-shaming and blackmail and tell the story of ordinary people with big secrets and a mystery that remains unsolved to this day,” reads a Jan. 12, 2023 scoop from The Wrap.

There are several other studios pursuing documentaries on the Ashley Madison breach, and it’s not hard to see why. On July 19, 2015, a hacker group calling itself The Impact Team leaked Ashley Madison internal company data, and announced it would leak all user data in a month unless Ashley Madison voluntarily shut down before then.

A month later, The Impact Team published more than 60 gigabytes of data, including user names, home addresses, search history, and credit card transaction records. The leak led to the public shaming and extortion of many Ashley Madison users, and to at least two suicides. It’s impossible to say how many users lost their jobs or marriages as a result of the breach.

I’m aware that there are multiple studios working on Ashley Madison documentaries because I broke the story of the breach in 2015, and all of those production houses approached me with essentially the same pitch: It would be a shame if your voice wasn’t included in our project.

What stood out about the inquiry from Wall to Wall was that their researchers had already gathered piles of clues about the breach that I’d never seen before.

I’d assumed that participating in their documentary would involve sitting for a few interviews about known historical facts related to the breach. But when Wall to Wall shared what they’d found, I was hooked, and spent several weeks investigating those leads further.

The result was a collaborative research effort revealing key aspects of the breach that have somehow escaped public notice over the years.

I won’t go into detail on what we discovered until the Hulu series is ready for release. Also, I am not privy to what they will produce with the interviews I gave. I can’t say that what we found untangles everything about the breach that was previously unknown, but it sure explains a lot.

14 thoughts on “KrebsOnSecurity in Upcoming Hulu Series on Ashley Madison Breach

  1. Phil W

    Nice teaser Brian!

    I look forward to seeing this series.

  2. Phil W

    Nice teaser Brian!

    I look forward to watching this series.

  3. AceofSpeedos

    I’m looking forward to this. Crazy that Ashley Madison is still around and that people even fell for that schtick back then. I always liked how the site itself was exposed for creating fake accounts and leading a bunch of lonely, middle aged men to believe that there were scores of women willing to participate in extramarital affairs.

    1. TimH

      Perfectly put. There’s something incredibly satisfying about the image of these unfaithful men paying to converse with a chatbot thinking it’s a potential hookup.

      1. mealy

        Love is in the eye of the compiler. Yeah, I’ll just let myself out.

  4. Dennis

    Brian, would you post an update when that documentary is out? Can’t wait to watch it.

    And as for a previous comment, then this is a common practice of many dating sites as well – to have bots send you fake messages to create an illusion that someone wants to talk to you to make you sign up for a paid plan. Ashley Madison did not invent it.

    What I remember is that Ashley Madison was heavily advertised on major media platforms that reached millions of people. Like Howard Stern show. Those were different times for sure.

  5. mark

    Interesting. I admit I was curious, so I tried it for a month… and within a few days, it was obvious that there were few, if any, actual women signed up.

  6. Billy Jack

    I was shocked yesterday to find out that some people think that their passwords for remote accounts (such as e-mail and banking and credit cards) automagically match the password on her computer.

    One woman I was helping after she got scammed seemed to think that since we installed a fresh operating system on her computer (in this case, Ubuntu since we didn’t have a distribution for whatever Windows she had before and the only thing she uses is the web browser), that with a new password on the computer, all her other passwords were somehow changed to match her computer.

    1. Quid

      If the woman in question worked in a corporate environment, she may have been used to an intranet where applications could be automatically logged in via SSO / Active Directory that were linked to her Windows logon ID and password, which was also the network ID and password. She would have been automatically logged in to different applications and assumed that’s the way it is everywhere.

  7. Nobody_Holme

    As others have said, very interested to see this, knowing they’ve done their own investigation instead of leaning on the original reporter, and happily shared that work to get it done, is a nice touch, anyone who Brian will collaborate with on research has to be a good investigator.

  8. Astrologer

    Your trailer is so sexy, I am really excited to watch the full series.

  9. David~Cyber Crime Junkies

    Brian, so refreshing to see their independent effort and research. Happy you participated in it and we will certainly have everyone watching to check out your collaboration and the new findings!

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