If you’re on the Internet, you’re probably aware of Ashley Madison. The site’s blunt pitch is that it’s for married people looking to cheat on their spouses, making it the source of much wailing and gnashing on the Internet. The site’s publicity stunts and shameless headline hunting have certainly helped keep it visible. And now, a group of Internet vigilantes calling themselves the Impact Group has apparently taken matters into their own hands.
According to Krebs on Security, which first broke the story, says that the hackers were angry about the site’s business model. For those who don’t have to follow this company for work, Madison’s big sales pitch beyond the whole cheating thing is that you can pay them twenty bucks and your profile is completely erased. That, apparently, is not true, at least according The Impact Group’s leaks.
The information will be released unless the site’s owners, Avid Life Media, take down both Ashley Madison and a more obscure site called Established Men, which they accuse of prostitution and human trafficking. ALM, for its part, claims it’s locked down the site and is working with the authorities to prevent any leak. They’ve stated they think the leak is an inside job, but that the investigation is ongoing.
As for the allegations, it’s no secret that any dating site, no matter how innocuous, will be used as a forum for prostitution and human trafficking. Personally, I have to raise an eyebrow that the Impact Group raises such allegations but makes much greater hash of the private information issue. One is fundamentally a self-inflicted embarrassment, the other is possibly the greatest human rights crisis of the 21st century.
Supposedly, the Impact Group will release information until Ashley Madison and Established Men are shut down. Essentially, this is a game of chicken, being played out on the Internet. One has to wonder how Ashley Madison’s users feel about being in the middle of it… but none of them seem in a hurry to speak up about it.
(via Krebs on Security)
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