When the marital infidelity website AshleyMadison.com learned in July 2015 that hackers were threatening to publish data stolen from 37 million users, the company’s then-CEO Noel Biderman was quick to point the finger at an unnamed former contractor. But as a new documentary series on Hulu reveals [SPOILER ALERT!], there was just one problem with that theory: Their top suspect had killed himself more than a year before the hackers began publishing stolen user data.
It’s been seven years since the online cheating site AshleyMadison.com was hacked and highly sensitive data about its users posted online. The leak led to the public shaming and extortion of many AshleyMadison users, and to at least two suicides. To date, little is publicly known about the perpetrators or the true motivation for the attack. But a recent review of AshleyMadison mentions across Russian cybercrime forums and far-right underground websites in the months leading up to the hack revealed some previously unreported details that may deserve further scrutiny.
Last month, KrebsOnSecurity posted an exclusive story about emails leaked from AshleyMadison that suggested the company’s former chief technology officer Raja Bhatia hacked into a rival firm in 2012. Now, an attorney for the former executive is threatening a libel lawsuit against this author unless the story is retracted.
AshleyMadison.com, a site that helps married people cheat and whose slogan is “Life is Short, have an Affair,” recently put up a half million (Canadian) dollar bounty for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the Impact Team, the name chosen by the hacker(s) who released data on more than 30 million Ashley Madison users. Here is the first of likely several posts examining individuals who appear to be closely connected to this attack.
Hacked online cheating service AshleyMadison.com is portraying itself as a victim of malicious cybercriminals, but leaked emails from the company’s CEO suggests that AshleyMadison’s top leadership hacked into a competing dating service in 2012.