A group of hackers are claiming to have stolen personal data from millions of users of AshleyMadison.com, a dating website for cheaters.
On Monday Avid Life Media Inc., the parent company to Ashley Madison, confirmed in a press release that they were “recently made aware of an attempt by an unauthorized party to gain access to our systems.” In the release they did not state to the extent of the breach but added that they had “immediately launched a thorough investigation utilizing leading forensics experts and other security professionals to determine the origin, nature, and scope of this incident.”
The hackers, which go by the name of Impact Team, claim to have stolen private customer records including user profiles, customers’ secret sexual fantasies, nude pictures, conversations, credit card transactions, real names, real addresses and also employee documents and emails.
In order to protect the personal data allegedly stolen, the Impact Team has a simple demand for Avid Life Media, to shut down AshleyMadison.com as well as EstablishedMen.com, another site owned by the Toronto-based company.
“Shutting down AM and EM will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more,” Impact Team wrote in a message. “We will release all customer records, profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies, nude pictures, and conversations and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. Avid Life Media will be liable for fraud and extreme harm to millions of users.”
It is highly unlikely that Avid Life Media will comply with the demands, being that both AshleyMadison.com and EstablishedMen.com are major revenue streams for the company. It will be interesting to see if the hackers are bluffing or for real with their demands.