Earlier we reported the hacking of Ashley Madison, a dating site that encourages married people to have extramarital affairs. Owned by a Toronto-based Avid Life Media, the site operates in more than 50 countries, has 37 million users, and goes by the tagline – ‘Life is short, Have an affair’. Now the stolen data has reportedly been published on the so-called ‘dark web’ aka ‘Tor,’ implying the stolen data can only be accessed via encrypted browsers.
Technology focused website Wired says 9.7 GB of stolen data has been posted, while the material posted includes members accounts along with credit card details. The hacker group, who call themselves the ‘Impact Team’, said they were able to get access to real names and addresses of the site’s users’, which also includes users who had earlier paid to delete their accounts.
The breach was initially reported in July, with hackers demanding that Ashley Madison and its sister concern Established Men be taken down, or else they’ll leak the personal information in 30 days if their demands aren’t fulfilled.
While to assess the authenticity of the leaked data, several security researchers and analysts have been analyzing the data who have apparently confirmed that the leaked data is rather legit, and includes personal information of real Ashley Madison members.
However, Ashley Madison for obvious reasons is yet to confirm the authenticity of the leaked data and said they are actively monitoring and investigating to determine the validity of the leak. In a statement, Avid Life Media which owns Ashley Madison described the hack as ‘an act of criminality’, adding that it’ll fully co-operate with law enforcement agencies to nab the hackers.
Meanwhile, the leaked data appears to have over 10,000 US military email addresses along with tons of US government addresses. It also includes descriptions as to what the site members were apparently seeking.
User passwords leaked on the Dark Web appear to have been hashed via the Bcrypt algorithm for PHP. The use of Bcrypt is a modern way to scramble users’ passwords; these passwords are not impossible to hack though a hacker would take a much longer time to figure out what they are.
With that being said, the repercussions of the hack can have a significant impact the personal lives of Ashley Madison members – or you can call them ‘cheaters’ – as the leaked personal information contains rather a sensitive user info that could lead to severe complications such as divorces, blackmail or for that matter getting fired from your current job.