Data Breach at Online Cheating Site Ashley Madison
This is not your ordinary credit card data breach.
Ashley Madison, a website that promotes adultery by connecting married people looking to cheat on their spouses, was hacked by cyber criminals who are threatening to release information on the company’s customers if the website is not shut down.
Ashley Madison, whose company slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair,” claims to have 37 million customers. The website is owned by Avid Life Media, Inc. which also owns sites called Established Men and Cougar Life.
The hackers call themselves the “Impact Team” and are threatening to post user information–including names, addresses and credit card information–each day that the Ashley Madison site remains active.
Ashley Madison offers a “full delete” feature to its customers for a $19 fee that claims to wipe away all customer information.
“Full Delete netted [Avid Life Media] $1.7 million in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the hackers were quoted by Brian Krebs who first broke news of the hack. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real names and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”
“We apologize for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information,” Avid Life Media, Inc. said in a statement.