Their slogan is – ” Life is short. Have an affair.”
Now the company behind that line could see that life is indeed short for a company based on selling adultery on a global scale.
Ashley Madison hack could expose millions to identity theft, divorceTheir slogan is – ” Life is short. Have an affair.” Now the company behind that line could see that life is indeed short for a company based on selling adultery on a global scale.
The website, AshleyMadison.com, makes no secret about what it’s selling: discreet cheating for married partners.
But discretion went out the window, after a group of so-called hacktivists exposed millions of user profiles and email addresses.
Thousands of the email addresses contained suffixes belonging to international governments, militaries, and major corporations.
Virtually no corner of the globe has gone untouched…from Hong Kong and Korea…to Israel and Argentina…to Canada, where the parent company, Avid Life Media is based.
Cyber security expert of Hotspot Shield, Robert Siciliano tells CCTV News that people started contacting him last month when the breach was first uncovered.
“Some of them hadn’t put anything but their real name, credit card and address,” said Robert Siciliano, owner of Hotspot Shield, “but they would also confess to me that they had talked about fetishes, things that they did, what they were attracted to.”
Ashley Madison boasts some 40 million users looking for affairs. At least 15,000 have been linked to U.S. government workers. Domain suffixes for the British, Hong Kong, and Canadian governments have also been identified. Some users signed up using email addresses in countries where adultery is punishable by death.
“I think it has a lot to do with a compulsion,” said psychologist, Dr. Jeff Gardere. “It has a lot to do with being so wrapped up in getting that sexual thrill that you throw caution to the side.”
Siciliano says there’s already an effort to create a searchable database so people can find out if their spouses are cheating…leading many to wonder about possible blackmail or a spike in divorce rates around the world.
“When people are cheating there’s always a suspicion there,” added Gardere. “There are other signs. Something like being on this site and cheating on this site are probably just the tip of the iceberg.”
Emails used to sign into the site were reportedly not verified. It’s likely that many of them could be fake. Nonetheless, experts worry that this cyber security hack could turn into a series of national security breaches, where private information is used to extort state secrets from government employees.
“It’s important that governments reach out to those .mils and .gov addresses, to each and every person that they see may have been compromised and actually have their superiors have a discussion with them about what might take place,” said Siciliano.
CCTV’s Jessica Stone, Washington