Ashley Madison, the website that connects people looking to have extramarital affairs, has been hacked, and now the hackers, who call themselves the Impact Team, are threatening to expose the details of millions of Ashley Madison’s users if the owners of the site do not shut it down.
Toronto-based firm Avid Life Media (ALM) owns Ashley Madison, as well as two other dating sites called Cougar Life and Established Men. The Impact Team says that if ALM doesn’t completely shut down Ashley Madison and Established Men, they will release “customer records, secret sexual fantasies, nude pictures, credit card transactions, real names and addresses as well employee documents and emails.”
The hackers aren’t motivated by some righteous mission to rid the Web of sites engaged in amoral activity. Rather, they’re upset because they believe ALM doesn’t completely delete users’ details upon request as promised.
In a statement from ALM that highlights the growing threat posed by hackers to businesses of all sizes and nature, they said:
We apologize for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information. The current business world has proven to be one in which no company’s online assets are safe from cyber-vandalism, with Avid Life Media being only the latest among many companies to have been attacked, despite investing in the latest privacy and security technologies.
We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds, and have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world. As other companies have experienced, these security measures have unfortunately not prevented this attack to our system.”