The 32 million users of cheating website AshleyMadison.com may need to do some explaining today after hackers made good on their promise to release customer information, including contact information and private messages, for all the world to see.
The site, which seductively advertises “Life is short. Have an affair” was hacked on July 20, 2015 and those involved threatened to release all their stolen data if AshleyMadison.com and EstablishedMen.com, both owned by Avid Life Media, was not shut down.
On Tuesday, roughly 9.7 gigabytes of data was released and posted online, according to Wired.com.
“Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men,” the hackers wrote in a statement. “We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data…. Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles. See ashley madison fake profile lawsuit; 90-95% of actual users are male. Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters.”
The data dump contains information such as contact details and sexual preferences for some 32 million users of the site.
“Seven years worth of credit card and other payment transaction details are also part of the dump, going back to 2007. The data, which amounts to millions of payment transactions, includes names, street address, email address and amount paid, but not credit card numbers; instead it includes four digits for each transaction that may be the last four digits of the credit card or simply a transaction ID unique to each charge,” Wired reporter Kim Zetter wrote.
Other data included specific messages about what clients were looking for in a partner, including one message revealed by Wired to be from an employee of the Canadian Customs and Immigration Union. “I’m looking for someone who isn’t happy at home or just bored and looking for some excitement,” it read.
The data is only available by using the Tor browser, putting it in the realm of what some call the ‘dark internet’. For any speculation on whether the data is fake, security expert Brian Krebs says it’s all real. “I’m sure there are millions of AshleyMadison users who wish it weren’t so, but there is every indication this dump is the real deal,” Krebs tweeted Tuesday night.
To access the data, one must first download the Tor browser, then visit: “http://yuc3i3hat65rpl7t.onion/stuff/impact-team-ashley-release.html“.
To download the torrent file, one can find that here: “http://mywuwj5f76usg7eo.onion/stuff/impact-team-ashley-release.torrent“.
It is expected more user-friendly sites scraping this data will pop up soon.
Of the millions of cheaters using this website, there is a fairly good chance some of these people are in the public realm. With both Canadian and U.S. federal elections heating up, it’s only a matter of time until a scandal hits the air waves. Stay tuned.