A month after a team of hackers who called themselves the Impact Team threatened to release the information of about 32 million users who had an account on the cheating website Ashley Madison, they exposed the promised data on Tuesday, August 18.
The Impact Team had asked Avid Life Media, which is the parent company that owns Ashley Madison, CougarLife and Established Men , to shut down both Ashley Madison and Established Men unless they want to have all the information of their clients exposed for the whole world to see.
“Shutting down AM (Ashley Madison) and EM (Established Men) will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more,” they said back then.
By refusing to do so, Avid Life Media now has to face consequences, because the hackers have released information regarding payment transactions, phone numbers and email addresses of people who were registered on the website which encouraged people to go ahead and have an affair because “life is short.”
“We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM (Avid Life Media) and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data,” said the team of hackers in a post written after the data dump.
It was also reported that about 15,000 users’ data included important authorities’ email addresses, such as military or government officials. These include some addresses from the Parliament, The Department of Conservation and The Ministry of Social Development, but also from the Ministry of Justice, Corrections and Police.
However, the fact that Ashley Madison does not verify email addresses to create an account means that some of them might not even be real. If they were, they would represent an “inappropriate use of government resources,” according to a spokesman for the State Services commissioner in New Zeeland. He also added that these are also considered to be a breach in the code of conduct, so the allegations could be quite serious.
Avid Life Media released a statement on August 18, in response to the data dump, saying that the action the hackers took is an illegal one and goes against all the members of the website. They had initially promised their customers that their data was safe and that they were working with the best team to determine who was behind this.
The hackers leaked 9.7 gigabyte of information that could lead to the exposure of many married customers who have been using the website.
Image Source: themarrysue