Infidelity dating site Ashley Madison created hundreds of fake female profiles to encourage men to sign up, a disgruntled former employee has claimed. The accusation appears in court documents filed by Doriana Silva, who attempted to sue the matchmaking website for £10m.
Ashley Madison allegedly hired Silva in March 2011 to help launch a Portuguese-language version of the website. But in 2012 she attempted to sue the company for £10m, claiming an extreme workload caused her to develop repetitive strain injury in her wrists.
In the court documents she alleges she was told to put together up to 1,000 bogus profiles. Silva alleged she was led to believe that creating the profiles "was some sort of a normal business practice in the industry", according to MailOnline.
In response to her allegations, an Ashley Madison spokesman said the website's service was "100% authentic" and they "resent any implication otherwise".
The dating website was hit for a third time by the hacking group Impact Team this week. Personal details of millions of members – including credit card numbers, email addresses and sexual preferences – were released on file-sharing websites.
On 19 July this year, Avid Life Media – the parent company of Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and Established Men – confirmed its customer database had been breached. A group of hackers called Impact Team claimed responsibility and published 10GB of customer information. The group also released a manifesto that warned that if ALM did not take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline, they would publish all the customer data they possessed.
A month later 20GB more of internal data regarding Ashley Madison was placed online. And this week the group released information from 36 million accounts including the account holders' names, height, weight, gender, addresses, email address, GPS coordinates, credit card transaction details, limited credit card numbers and sexual preferences.
Among those outed by the group includes UN peacekeepers, NHS staff, police officers and Vatican employees. The hacking group accuse members of the site of "fraud, deceit and stupidity" telling users to "learn your lesson and make amends".
ALM are understood to be working around the clock in conjunction with multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI, to locate the hackers. No arrests have been made to date.