Cheaters on Ashley Madison – you’re in trouble!

The site that has been the centre of a lot of adult fights, Ashley Madison, has been hacked. AshleyMadison, who helps married people find a mistress/mister, has more than 37.5 million users. The slogan, very appropriate, reads

“Life Is Short. Have an Affair”.

The hacker group calls themselves The Impact Team and they claim to have compromised the cheating site’s database, financial records and of course the information of the users.

Brian Krebs, the editor of KrebsOnSecurity, first reported about the hack on the 15th of July. CEO Noel Biderman of Avid Life Media – the company who owns Ashley Madison – confirmed the hack to Krebs and said the company was working diligently and feverishly to take down ALM’s intellectual property. The other two sites of Avid Life Media, Cougar Life and Established Men have also been compromised.

Cougar Life Screengrab
Cougar Life Screengrab

The Impact Team claims to have all relevant information of the company’s database. The group has only released 40Mb of data, including credit card details and ALM documents. This, according to the hacker team, is just a tease and they’re threatening to release further data from the sites if Ashley Madison and Established Men aren’t permanently closed. Someone’s been burned real bad… Or someone’s wife found out and had his car burned real bad.

“Avid Life Media has been instructed to take AshleyMadison 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,” The Impact Group’s statement reads.

Established Men Screengrab
Established Men Screengrab

According to The Guardian ALM believes that it has identified the guilty party of the hack and claims this was likely an inside job. So maybe someone is just pissed at their boss then?

The posts on Twitter which apparently linked to pages containing the hacked material are now bringing up “page not found” results. So maybe the users’ identities and financial information are safe, for now.

The hackers believe that what this site promotes, infidelity, is wrong. Which is sort of wrong in my opinion, if you’re married. It can cause a lot of heartbreak, but with so many users, there must be a market for it. So one can probably not stop a company from making a profit out of the cheating needs of people. According to Biological Anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher, it is in human nature to have more than one lover. So what do you think? Is what this site is promoting wrong or are they just fulfilling needs?

Also, would you want to know if your friends, colleagues and significant other had a profile on AshleyMadison? 

  1. Would I want to know if my colleagues or acquaintances had a profile? No, that’s just voyeurism, no doubt just about everyone would want to know to feed the gossip mill, but it’s not really your business.

    Would I want to know if my close friends or worse yet, my significant other, had a profile? Absolutely. I’m not okay with infidelity, I think it speaks very poorly of a person’s character. It’s bad enough if it is something that happens due to circumstance, but if it is something that people actively seek out? That’s much worse. If it was a friend, I’d want to talk to them to understand why. If it was an SO, then that would be the end of the relationship.

    1. Imagine someone signed up two years ago in a drunken stupor. They realise the error and do not communicate with others on the platform. They delete their profile. Now they’re engaged. Info gets leaked. Now what?

      1. Even then, still a problem. They didn’t sign up for a Tinder or OKCupid account, even if they were drunk, applying at a site existing exclusively to facilitate cheating on people would be a big issue to me.

        However, the hackers say they have more than just account names. If your account has been billing your credit card and you haven’t cancelled it, then your “I was drunk and tried to delete/forgot I had signed up” excuse looks pretty week. And if they have records of connections made, messages sent, etc, then leaking that would be pretty much the end of the story.

          1. Gosh, who would ever have thought that a site intending to profit from people cheating on their spouses and SOs wouldn’t be a paragon of business integrity?

            Still no sympathy.

  2. Here’s the thing though, if your partner is going to cheat on you they’re going to do it. Should we close down clubs and pubs? Should we ban Facebook and any other messaging services? No because that doesn’t solve the problem. Ashley Madison is scummy and Avid is even scummier, does that mean they shouldn’t exist? NO! They saw a gap in the market and took it, just because you had “morals” or whatever doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

    Also let’s not forget, THEY GOT HACKED WHICH IS A CRIME! How would you feel if every message you ever sent on Facebook became public knowledge?

    My point is this, everybody has a right to privacy, even if that person is cheating on you.

    1. Do you really think the site, which matches people to enable cheating, is on the same level as going to a club or messaging someone on Facebook who you already had to be aware of? That’s a bit like arguing against gun control because if someone really wanted to kill you, they could do it with a kitchen knife.

      Anyway, that’s not really relevant as there is no question that what the site does is legal, and therefore has every right to exist. Hacking/data theft is a crime and the people responsible should absolutely be prosecuted for it.

      However, what is right or wrong is more an issue of an individual’s personal morality and therefore impossible to quantify objectively, you can’t say the what the site is “not wrong” (you also can’t state categorically that it is wrong).

      I said before that I wasn’t interested in the voyeuristic aspect of it with people I don’t know. However, if someone very close to me, or worse yet my SO, was cheating, while I acknowledge their legal right to privacy while they do it, I actually don’t care and would want to know.

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