There’s bad news if you were using extramarital affairs service Ashley Madison to add a little spice into your life. Hackers claim to have gained full access to the site’s database and other records, potentially exposing the personal information of its 37 million registered users, as security expert Brian Krebs first reported.
Krebs said that the attackers, who call themselves The Impact Team, published a range of random user data that they claim to have snatched from ALM — the parent company behind Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and Established Men. They also appear to have gotten access to company servers and employee information, including company bank account information and salaries.
The Impact Team is threatening to release the full data set that it claims to have unless Ashley Madison — which is one of the Internet’s most notorious places to seek out an affair — is shut down.
They also made an interesting claim that ‘Full Delete,’ a feature that wipes a user’s data from ALM’s servers for a one-off $19 fee, is not what the company claims it is. The group claimed that customer information — including contact details and credit card numbers — is still on the servers despite paying for the wipe.
In an announcement, ALM said it has launched “a thorough investigation” after it was made “aware of an attempt by an unauthorized party to gain access to our systems.”
“At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized access points. We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber–terrorism will be held responsible,” the company added.
That statement will be of no consolation to users who will fear they are about to have their cheating, or intention to cheat, exposed to all on the Internet. We’ve asked ALM about the hacker’s claims regarding the Full Delete feature, and will update this story with any response that we’re given.
This incident is the second major attack on an affairs site in recent months. Back in May, Adult Friend Finder had its user database published online following a hack.
Bonus points to those who spot the “secure site” tag on ashleymadison.com…