Ashley Madison
The Ashley Madison customer database was stolen by an insider who had intimate knowledge of the Avid Life Media network.Reuters

Cheating website Ashley Madison may have been the focus of a massive security hack, but that has not hurt the number of users, according to the company, who said that the number accessing the site has grown by "hundreds of thousands".

"Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated," Avid Life Media said in a statement on 31 August. "This past week alone, hundreds of thousands of new users signed up for the Ashley Madison platform—including 87,596 women."

ASHLEY MADISON HACKED: Full coverage of the cheating website's fall from grace, including guides on how to check if someone's email address was on its database

According to USA Today, the number of female users of the site has been an issue. Ashley Madison was hacked by a group of hackers going by the name The Impact Team in July. The group later leaked the hacked personal data and payment information on 18 August. It stated one of its reasons for hacking the website was that it was scamming male users.

Tech website Gizmodo analysed the cheating website's roster of users and appeared to find that a high number of the accounts associated to female users were not used by actual people. Gizmodo found that 20 million of the accounts associated to male users had the messages checked at least one. Meanwhile, only 2,492 accounts associated to female users had been checked.

"Last week, a reporter who claimed to analyse the stolen data made incorrect assumptions about the meaning of fields contained in the leaked data. This reporter concluded that the number of active female members on Ashley Madison could be calculated based on those assumptions. That conclusion was wrong," Avid Life Media said in its statement.

"Last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform," it claimed. "Furthermore, in the first half of this year the ratio of male members who paid to communicate with women on our service versus the number of female members who actively used their account (female members are not required to pay to communicate with men on Ashley Madison) was 1.2 to 1." On 28 August, CEO Noel Biderman was forced to step down from the company.