This may be bigger than the Feds having 20 or 30 million digital personnel files tapped by hackers.
Ashley Madison got hacked and over 37 million customer files have been taken hostage,
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Ashley Madison is a sleazy, Canadian based “online dating and social networking service” that “discretely” hooks up folks who are already in a relationship, i.e. married.
The name of the site was created from two popular female names, “Ashley” and “Madison” … the site’s slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.”
The site has been around for about 15 years and gets about 125 million hits each month (pun intended).
Reportedly, 70% of the site’s members are guys … no surprise there.
That’s the back-story … now for the “so what?” …
First, the “so what?” for the 37 million Ashley Madison members.
Reportedly, they post very detailed personal data, including credit card numbers (with names) and stuff like their sexual fantasies.
Apparently that stuff is essential for making a worthwhile hook-up.
No problem, though, because the site promises discretion and pitches the site’s data security.
See the site’s security icons above for “proof”.
Plus, if a member gets uneasy with the info they posted, they can – for $19 – hit a “full delete” button and all info gets vaporized.
Or, at least that’s what Ashley M. promised.
Enter the hackers.
They call themselves the “Impact Team” … and they’re hacked (another intended pun) over the company’s “full delete” service which nets AM millions in annual revenue.
At issue: Impact Team says that AM doesn’t really delete the information … and they (the hackers) now have the “deleted data” in their grubby hands and threaten to release it … much to the chagrin of the site’s discrete cheaters.
Obviously, that’s an issue for site members … it’s also a problem for the site’s owner.
For the company, it’s more than the likely decline in site membership and activity.
You see, the company is on a path to a $200 million IPO.
Oops … could be a show-stopper.
What’s the broader “so what?”
Yeah, it’s easy to chuckle about the plight of Ashley Madison’s customers and pontificate about how they’re getting what they deserve.
But, this should be another wake-up call to everybody about web insecurity.
Always assume that anything you post on the web can and will be used against you.
Don’t have blind trust that you’re information be secure.
The Feds can’t keep it secure, Ashley Madison can’t keep it secret …
You get the picture … better safe than sorry.