The breach at Ashley Madison gave rise to sordid tales of frantic phone calls to lawyers and torrid confrontations with spouses. But hard information has been hard to come by. Even the true number of people affected by the breach has been clouded by uncertainty over how many of the roughly 39 million members Ashley Madison claims to have are genuine.
Hackers claim to have posted 36 million names, credit card numbers, email and physical addresses etc.The data is posted on aka “Dark Web,” a part of the Internet that can’t be searched by Google or most common search engines. It can only be viewed with a special Tor browser.
Ashley Madison, which is owned by Avid Life Media, is designed to help married people cheat on their spouses. Its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” The website claims to have nearly 39 million customers.
People can browse the site for free, but they have to pay for credits if they want to send messages to other members of the dating site. The fewest amount of credits a customer can buy is 100, which costs $49. Customers who buy 1,000 credits for $250 receive a money-back “affair guarantee,” if they don’t have an affair within three months.
Ashley Madison charges five credits per message, a minimum 20 credits for virtual gifts and 30 credits for a half-hour instant message session.
Included in the stolen personal information was the amount of money customers paid to the site.
The credit card numbers listed in the data dump are valid, and many are still active, according to Per Thorsheim, a cybersecurity expert in Norway. He said a massive amount of data is included in the posting. Even when compressed it came to 9.7 gigabytes.
The hackers mocked the site and the customer base, saying that 90% to 95% of the users were male.
Ashley Madison has long been criticized for supposedly having many fake accounts. It’s widely reported to be a hot bed for scam artists who pose as women who want to have an affair. Avid Life Media said it’s actively monitoring the situation and working with law enforcement in the United States and in Canada, where the site is based.
The Hackers aka Impact Team posted a headline Tuesday saying “Times is Up” giving directions on where to view the data.
Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and extortionist has begun to target the users. The group requested a bitcoin worth about 225.00
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