The online cheating site Ashley Madison has been hacked and user records got leaked says security blog.
Dating site Ashley Madison that openly position itself as matching site for infidelity and married dating has been hacked according to Brian Krebs on his blog. User data of the 37 million Ashley Madison users has been leaked online according to the report.
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This leak can be highly damaging for users as they obviously are using the service in secret.
Update August 19: The stolen Ashley Madison Data has been released online and made searchable.
The Ashley Madison hackers call themselves "The Impact Team." Avid Life Media, parent company of Ashley Madison, is aware of the hack and confirmed the hack to Krebs saying: "The company working diligently and feverishly" to take down ALM’s intellectual property. Indeed, in the short span of 30 minutes between that brief interview and the publication of this story, several of the Impact Team’s Web links were no longer responding, said CEO Noel Biderman, adding "We’re not denying this happened. Like us or not, this is still a criminal act."
The leak is not only including user data but also internal financial details, employee details and server maps.
The hackers have published a pretty elaborate statement demanding the shutdown of Ashley Madison. They argue that Ashley Madison promises to completely erase their profile for a $19 fee but that is not a full delete as credit card data remains. The hacker group is threatening to release more user data including detailed profile information and credit card data.
Another online cheating site had been hacked two month ago and user data of Adult Friend Finder has been leaked online. The security team at Ashley Madison sure had been at high alert, but according to Biderman it likely was in inside job. "We’re on the doorstep of [confirming] who we believe is the culprit, and unfortunately that may have triggered this mass publication," Biderman said. "I’ve got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials. It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services."
Read the full details about the incident and what is known so far on Krebs On Security.
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What users should do if their Ashley Madison User Data got hacked? Obviously the first step is to change your password. If you have been using the same password on other services change those as well. Canceling the credit card used is also recommendable. Preparing in your mind the situation of your partner finding out about your Ashley Madison account is a good exercise. You could say that you had to do research for work.