A site that encourages married users to cheat on their spouses has been hacked by a group that is demanding that it be shut down.
The online cheating site, Ashley Madison, which has the tagline: “Life is short. Have an affair”, has been compromised by hackers who have stolen and leaked personal information.
The hacking group, Impact Team, have also hacked into two other dating sites, Cougar Life and Established Men, which are also owned by Ashley Madison’s parent group, Avid Life Media (ALM).
They claim to have access to the records of every single member of Ashley Madison, as well as financial records for ALM, and have released 40MB of data so far, including credit card details.
ALM has confirmed that the hacked material is genuine, according to information security journalist Brian Krebs and they are working to remove it from the internet.
The Impact Team also posted a manifesto with the leak which threatens the release of more information if Ashley Madison and Established Men are not permanently closed.
They said: “Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.
“The other websites may stay online.”
The hackers’ claim that Ashley Madison’s promise to carry out a “full delete” of customer information if they decide to leave the site is “a complete lie”.
The site charges users a fee of £15 for the deletion, even though users have the choice of permanently hiding their profile free of charge.
The company claims that the full delete service is the only way to completely remove their information from the servers.
Impact Team said: “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”
ALM, who believe it was an inside job, said: “We apologise for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information. The current business world has proven to be one in which no company’s online assets are safe from cyber-vandalism, with Avid Life Media being only the latest among many companies to have been attacked, despite investing in the latest privacy and security technologies.
“At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorised access points. We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber-terrorism will be held responsible.”