Hackers have leaked the account details and logins for nearly 32 million users of cheating website Ashley Madison. The data dump on the dark web by the hacking group Impact Team comprises names, street addresses, email addresses and amounts paid to Ashley Madison.
The group threatened one month ago that it would release the information if Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison's parent company, did not take down the site and its sister Established Men.
In a message accompanying the dump, the hackers said: "We have explained the fraud, deceit and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data."
- Names of members of the British government were reportedly found to be on a list of over 30 million email addresses, along with those from the US Department of Defense.
- Some 15,000 with .mil or .gov addresses were found in the released data.
- Ashley Madison's parent company Avid Life Media has said in a statement that it is aware of the dump.
If you want to find out if your email address ... or someone you know is on the Ashley Madison list, check this website: ashley.cynic.al
The developer, known only as 'Rufo' created the website to search the huge database of emails published by the hackers. Rufo acknowledges that users may not know if the website checker is legitimate but says: "I'm the same person who made the Adobe leaked password checker if that lends me any credibility."
A warning though: It will only show if an email has been used to sign up for a profile with Ashley Madison but it will not say if the user has been actively using the site, names, credit card details or sexual preferences.
Rufo says: "It is possible someone accidentally or deliberately registered the wrong email address. Determining the likelihood of this is left to you. You'd be amazed how many people apparently don't know their own email addresses, so be skeptical about the results, especially if the person's name is common."
Political Scrapbook says that after crunching the public sector numbers from the Ashley Madison website, the number of gov.uk email addresses is slightly slower than first suggested, due to duplicate entries in the database.
It noted that as with students on the university accounts, a significant number of the Ministry of Defence emails appear to be those with lower ranks using the armymail system rather than "randy generals and Whitehall officials".
The spread of public sector domains are: universities, colleges and research establishmentsL 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: police.uk (less than 50).
Graham Cluley, an independent computer security analyst warns that the list should NOT be taken at face value because Ashley Madison requires no email verification when creating a profile.
"You might have joined the site years before when you were single and be shocked that they still have your details in their database, or you might have joined the site out of curiosity or for a laugh... never seriously planning to take things any further."
"But more importantly than all of that, if your email address is in the Ashley Madison database it means nothing. The owner of that email address may never have even visited the Ashley Madison site."
According to Gawker, Duggar purchased a $250 "affair guarantee" that promised him money back if he didn't "have an affair within three months."
There is currently no evidence that Duggar was involved in any extramarital affairs via the hook-up site. But unsurprisingly, Twitter showed no mercy following the latest revelation to surface about the disgraced TV star.
Duggar's profile included an extensive list of encounters that he was seeking including: "Conventional Sex," "Experimenting with Sex Toys," "One-Night Stands," "Open to Experimentation," "Extended Foreplay/Teasing," "Bubble Bath for 2," "Likes to Give Oral Sex," "Likes to Receive Oral Sex," "Someone I Can Teach," "Someone Who Can Teach Me," "Sharing Fantasies," "Sex Talk."
More details have reportedly emerged relating to Josh Duggar's alleged paid subscriptions to Ashley Madison.
A credit card in Duggar's name and connected to his grandmother's address was used to pay "a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015," reports Gawker.
Disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting fame was allegedly a user of Ashley Madison, it has been reported.
Duggar was previously named the executive director of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying group in D.C. which seeks "to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society."
Biderman, who has been happily married for twelve years, told http://www.stuff.co.nz recently: "People have affairs for a multitude of reasons. I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach to infidelity ... I believe monogamy is worth pursuing and that it's a worthwhile endeavour."
Dubbed the "King of Infidelity" Biderman he has profited handsomely from the indiscretions of his clientele. AshleyMadison.com went live in 2001 and is now worth more than $160 million and with 35.5 million members in 46 countries is hailed as one of the world's biggest "dating" sites.
Noel Biderman, founder of adultery hook-up site Ashley Madison, is also the driving force behind three other less successful sites - CougarLife.com, EstablishedMen.com and TheBigandtheBeautiful.com.
Ashley Madison was the seventh trending topic on social media in the US after Shaun King, world photography day and Perrie, sparked by the news that Perrie Edwards dramatically broke down in tears during a performance of the Little Mix song The End.
As the cheaters database is scrutinised online, it has been reported that it includes email addresses linked to the White House and NASA, as well as the Vatican and the United Nations. Senior professors at top universities are also included in the list.
The inevitable revelations to come, of celebrities who have used the site, means the fallout from the latest hacking scandal is going to be felt for many weeks and months to come.
With families, relationships and reputations at risk after the release of customer data from infidelity website Ashley Madison, Rik Turner, senior analyst of infrastructure solutions at consultancy firm Ovum said the outcome for users of the site is inevitable.
"If your name's been published, you're going to live in fear. There's nothing you can do once it's been published."
Meanwhile, Twitter is going to town on the latest hacking scandal that has exposed millions of cheaters.
There is some hope for anyone who is worried about their information being leaked. This data was stolen on July 11, 2015. Anyone who registered an account after this date is probably safe — but anyone who registered before July 11 should consider some or all of their information compromised.
Representatives for Ashley Madison have confirmed the compromise to their database and are condemning the attack that is being investigated.
"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 Impact Team's official statement on the release of data from cheating website Ashley Madison.
As information from the hacked cheating site goes public, victims of the leak have turned to social media to express their shock at the possibility of finding their spouse's details on the database.
The hackers who identify themselves as "The Impact Team" posted a message stating: "Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison. We have explained the fraud, deceit and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data."
Cybersecurity firm CyberAngel has also noted that about 1,200 people on the leaked list had emails based in Saudi Arabia, where adulterers face the death penalty.
According to the website Political Scrapbook, 92 Ministry of Defence email addresses are included among the leaked contact details. It added that 15,000 had addresses linked to the US military or government.
Data website Dadaviz published a chart showing the world's top 25 cities by number of Ashley Madison accounts. Brazil's Sao Paulo tops the list, while London is ninth.
Among personalities who have come out as Ashley Madison account holders is British journalist and novelist Celia Walden, who speaking to ITV's Lorraine morning show quipped she is "going to be in trouble" as a few years ago she signed up for the website as part of her research to prepare an interview with its founder. Walden is married to journalist and television personality Piers Morgan.