Secret's out: Hackers post stolen Ashley Madison data online
HACKERS who stole and leaked customer information from the Ashley Madison website for cheating spouses have apparently made good on their threat to post all of the data they took online.
A group calling itself the Impact Team compromised the site which encourages married users to cheat on their spouses and advertises 37 million members last month.
At least two other dating sites, Cougar Life and Established Men, also owned by the same parent group, Avid Life Media (ALM), also had their data compromised.
After the intrusion the hacked demanded that Ashley Madison and Established Men, which promises to connect beautiful young women with rich sugar daddies "to fulfill their lifestyle needs", take down the two sites.
CougarLife, a sister site run by ALM that promises to connect older women with younger men was not targeted by the group which claimed to have complete access to the company's database, including every single members user records.
While the hackers took issue with the questionable morals of the sites, their main point of contention was the fact that Ashley Madison charges users a £15 fee to carry out a full delete of their information should they decide to leave it.
They claimed that ALM actually retained that data on their company servers.
"Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers' secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails," the hackers wrote in a statement following the breach.
Their warnings were ignored by ALM who said they had beefed up security following the attack.
However, a data dump of 9.7 gigabytes was posted on Tuesday to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser, according to Wired.com.
It appears to include all of the information they had threatened to release including member account details and log-ins for the social networking site.
"Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men," Impact Team wrote in a statement accompanying the online dump Tuesday, Wired.com reported.
"We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members…. Chances are your man signed up on the world's biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters."