In one of the biggest data breaches ever to rock the internet, hackers have leaked over 37 million names and personal details from the database of the infidelity website Ashley Madison.
The online service was set-up to make it easier for people to have an affair, providing a private place for people to network.
But in a new twist, details of its users have been laid bare on the world wide web. Not only are people’s personal contact details now public, but we imagine that many relationships are set to combust as a result.
Names, ages, addresses, phone numbers and – perhaps most shockingly – credit card details of up to 1.2million users in the UK were published in a file called ‘Time’s Up!’, which was posted on the dark web.
The hackers, known as the Impact Team, have labelled these people as ‘cheating dirtbags’, and the names are said to include MPs, UN peacekeepers and even employees of the Vatican. In their eyes, these people deserve to be exposed.
The Impact Team is encouraging users to target their anger at the membership website, which they label as a ‘scam’, saying: ‘Prosecute them and claim damages…’
The site, whose tagline is ‘Life is short. Have an affair’, promises discretion and anonymity, which clearly isn’t possible right now. Ashely Madison has labelled the hack ‘an act of criminality’ and it is reportedly under investigation with the FBI.
In an official statement on their site, they have said: ‘This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities.’
One member who found their details leaked today told the Mail that although he is married, he was ‘inquisitive’ about meeting other women.
He explained: ‘I did sign up but never used the account.
‘I’m a bit annoyed to be honest – I set it up with the intention of using it but was unable to access it due to work restrictions.
‘Now my details are all over the internet’.
It’s a very sticky situation all around.
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