Hackers vs Cheaters: The Impact Team Threatens To Expose 37 Million Ashley Madison Accounts

Two months after dating website AdultFriendFinder was breached and had its info leaked, the exact same thing is happening to a trio of websites belonging to Avid Life Media, including AshleyMadison. If all of the information stolen does in fact get leaked, it won't bode well for its members.

AshleyMadison is a website that promotes infidelity, and it doesn't sugar-coat it. "Life is short. Have an affair" is its tagline. With this breach, though, it should add "As long as you don't mind others knowing about it."

The other websites affected include dating websites Cougar Life and Established Men. It goes without saying that few people are going to feel bad for a security breach affecting a company that provides services that could ruin marriages, but ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman wants to get things straight: "Like us or not, this is still a criminal act."


According to security expert Brian Krebs, the stolen database includes over 37 million accounts, and included in that is user, financial and other proprietary information. Even employee information is included.

The person or group behind this breach calls itself The Impact Team, and it decided to publish the information due to the "lie" that AshleyMadison's owners made. For a $19 fee, the promise is that a user could purge 100% of their data from the site. This information proves that either nothing or very little is actually removed - a user's name and address remains even after paying for the scrubbing service.

The hacking group wrote, "Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie. Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed."

A shady website acting shady? Who would have thought. Here's where things get really interesting: if ALM doesn't shut down its websites, including AshleyMadison, The Impact Team promises to release all of the information it's fetched.

We'll sit back with a box of popcorn if that does indeed happen.

Tags:  security