Hack­ers claim to have ex­posed Ash­ley Madi­son users

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY RAPHAEL SATTER

Hack­ers claim to have leaked a mas­sive list of users from Ash­ley Madi­son, a match­mak­ing web­site for cheat­ing spouses, say­ing its own­ers had re­fused to bow to their de­mands to close the site.

A mes­sage posted online said “Time’s Up!” and ac­cused par­ent com­pany Avid Life Media of de­ceit and in­com­pe­tence.

“Now ev­ery­one gets to see their data,” the state­ment said.

Toronto-based Avid Life Media, Inc. said in a state­ment Tues­day that it was aware of the claim and was in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

“The crim­i­nal, or crim­i­nals, in­volved in this act have ap­pointed them­selves as the moral judge, ju­ror, and ex­e­cu­tioner,” the com­pany said.

The As­so­ci­ated Press wasn’t im­me­di­ately able to de­ter­mine the au­then­tic­ity of the leaked doc­u­ments, but sev­eral se­cu­rity an­a­lysts who have scanned the data say they be­lieve the dump is gen­uine.

One of them, Trust­edSec CEO Dave Kennedy, said the dump in­cluded full names, pass­words, street ad­dresses, credit card in­for­ma­tion and “an ex­ten­sive amount of in­ter­nal data.”

In a blog post, he said it seemed the hack­ers had ac­cess to Ash­ley Madi­son “for a long pe­riod of time.”

Er­rata Se­cu­rity CEO Rob Graham said he had counted more than 36 mil­lion ac­counts, although many ap­peared to be bo­gus. The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the users were male, he said in a sep­a­rate blog post.

The hack­ers’ mo­tives aren’t en­tirely clear, although they have ac­cused Ash­ley Madi­son of fak­ing fe­male pro­files to keep male users in­ter­ested. In its state­ment, Avid Life Media ac­cused the hack­ers of seek­ing to im­pose “a per­sonal no­tion of virtue on all of so­ci­ety.”

A call to Avid Life Media wasn’t im­me­di­ately re­turned. The hack­ers didn’t im­me­di­ately re­turn mes­sages.

AP

A June 10 file photo show­ing Ash­ley Madi­son’s South Korean web site on a com­puter screen in Seoul. Hack­ers claim to have leaked a mas­sive data­base of users from Ash­ley Madi­son, a match­mak­ing web­site for cheat­ing spouses.

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