Remember a few weeks ago when a group of hackers calling themselves the Impact Team stole the personal info of Ashley Madison’s entire user base? Well, they just released it to the public.
If you didn’t know what Ashley Madison was, good for you. It’s a dating site designed around cheating on your significant other, using the tagline “Life is short. Have an affair.” The Impact Team demanded that the owners of the site, Avid Life Media, take it down based on their moral objections.
When Avid Life refused to budge, the hackers did indeed release 9.7 GB of data that includes names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, and transaction details (but not credit card numbers). We’re not going to link to it, but we’re pretty sure you could find it if you looked hard enough.
Here’s a screenshot of the message Impact Team included in the data.
Avid Life Media has released their own statement, condemning the illegal hack and trying to ensure their customers that their data is still safe.
This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities. The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world. We are continuing to fully cooperate with law enforcement to seek to hold the guilty parties accountable to the strictest measures of the law.
Despite what you may think of a site that includes extramarital affairs as their main purpose, Avid Life is correct. They aren’t breaking any laws, while the Impact Team definitely broke a few.