A dating website that boasts more than 16 million members is the latest victim of hacking, potentially releasing private information, the site’s parent company said Monday. And we’re not just talking credit card and Social Security numbers.
This is really private information, so private that users’ spouses don’t even know about it.
The Ashley Madison website is for married people who want to cheat. That part isn’t a secret at all.
“Life is short. Have an affair,” is the website’s slogan.
But it’s secret and unethical purpose may have may made the website a prime target for hacking. Chances are good if you’re one of the site’s customers, you’d rather it not be front-page news.
Brian Krebs, the blogger who first reported the breach, said the hackers were threatening to release all Ashley Madison’s customer records if the website isn’t shut down, CNN.com reported.
The hackers called themselves the “Impact Team,” and said the information obtained includes “profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.”
Avid Life Media said it learned of the online intrusion and immediately took action, a company statement said shortly after noon Monday.
“At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized access points,” the company said. “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.”
If you’re one of the millions of cheaters, your secret could still be safe, the website said.
“Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), our team has now successfully removed the posts related to this incident as well as all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about our users published online,” the company statement continued.
The website is offering its members the opportunity to delete their profiles and all personal information free of charge in light of the potential privacy breech.
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