Data from the Ashley Madison hack is being trawled through by British spies and intelligence agencies from around the world in the hope of extracting useful information, it has been claimed.
The usernames, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and email addresses of 32 million users were dumped on the dark web earlier this month by hacking squad the Impact Team. The hack squad released 10 gigabytes of data, which included the details of more than 2,000 British public sector workers and approximately 10,000 email addresses belonging to US government workers.
While the leak may have left some subscribers feeling anxious, the data dump has provided a bounty of information for intelligence agents to comb through. The Telegraph reports while British spies have now checked the data for details of their own staff, they have turned their attention to potential targets to see if the leak shines a light on their activities. It is also claimed foreign security agents could find snippets they could later use as a blackmail tool.
"We have been looking at it to see if our people are vulnerable. But there are also people looking at it to see how it can be used. Some countries will be looking at it for blackmail," a government source told the British newspaper.
Contained in the trove were UK public sector email addresses that had been used to register on the site. They have been broken down into the following categories: education: ac.uk (1,716); government: gov.uk (124); MoD: mod.uk (92), local education authorities and schools: sch.uk (65); National Health Service: nhs.uk (56); police force; and police.uk (less than 50).
Email addresses linked to an account do not mean the owner has used the dating site. Users are able to sign up to the site without responding to an email verification, meaning anyone's email address could have been used to create an account.