Hackers claim attack on notorious cheating website AshleyMadison




A hacking group is threatening to expose millions of users of AshleyMadison, the extramarital affairs website, unless their demands are met.

The hack, first reported by KrebsOnSecurity, has been claimed by a hacker or group of hackers, calling itself "The Impact Team." The group claims to have invaded the databases of Avid Life Media (ALM), the company that owns AshleyMadison, gaining access to everything from user profiles and financial records to ALM salary information.


Some amount of ALM internal data has already been posted online. According to Krebs, The Impact Team posted a manifesto alongside the information, which said it had released AshleyMadison information in retaliation for the company's "Full Delete" service that promised to entirely remove member profiles for $19. The group claims this was a lie.

"Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie," it wrote. "Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised."

The Impact Team reportedly demanded that ALM take AshleyMadison and the company's other dating site, Established Men permanently offline, or else they would release customer records and profiles, including real names and 'customers' secret sexual fantasies."

"Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion," the hackers continued. “Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver ... And with over 37 million members, mostly from the US and Canada, a significant percentage of the population is about to have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people."

ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman confirmed the hack to Krebs on Sunday, and said the company was working intently to remove all its data. “We’re not denying this happened,” Biderman said. "Like us or not, this is still a criminal act."

Biderman went on to suggest the hack may have been facilitated by someone who once had legitimate access to ALM's internal networks. "We’re on the doorstep of [confirming] who we believe is the culprit, and unfortunately that may have triggered this mass publication ... It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services."

AshleyMadison has been contacted for comment. Founded in 2001, the controversial website bills itself as serving the "darker side of dating." With a reported 36 million members who use the site to find partners for infidelity, the site was always going to be high value target for hackers. As well as the marital cheating website, ALM owns niche dating services CougarLife and Established Men.

If the hackers are true to their word, AshleyMadison, a website that bills itself as a service for "discreet encounters," may not be so discreet anymore.


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