Hackers threaten to leak Ashley Madison's 37 million clients

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Ashley Madison Parent Company Says Website Is Secure

Cheaters of the world -- you can take a deep breath. Your secrets are safe on the web, for now.

AshelyMadison.com -- a website for people in relationships looking for so-called "discreet connections" -- has been secured from hackers, according to their parent company.

Avid Life Media released this statement on Monday:

"We are pleased to say Ashley Madison has been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized 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."

See photos of the controversial website:

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Hackers threaten to leak Ashley Madison's 37 million clients
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: A detail of the Ashley Madison website on August 19, 2015 in London, England. Hackers who stole customer information from the cheating site AshleyMadison.com dumped 9.7 gigabytes of data to the dark web on Tuesday fulfilling a threat to release sensitive information including account details, log-ins and credit card details, if Avid Life Media, the owner of the website didn't take Ashley Madison.com offline permanently. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: A detail of the Ashley Madison website on August 19, 2015 in London, England. Hackers who stole customer information from the cheating site AshleyMadison.com dumped 9.7 gigabytes of data to the dark web on Tuesday fulfilling a threat to release sensitive information including account details, log-ins and credit card details, if Avid Life Media, the owner of the website didn't take Ashley Madison.com offline permanently. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: In this photo illustration, a man visits the Ashley Madison website on August 19, 2015 in London, England. Hackers who stole customer information from the cheating site AshleyMadison.com dumped 9.7 gigabytes of data to the dark web on Tuesday fulfilling a threat to release sensitive information including account details, log-ins and credit card details, if Avid Life Media, the owner of the website didn't take Ashley Madison.com offline permanently. (Photo illustration by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Ashley Madison's International Affairs Director Christoph Kraemer speaks during a press conference in Seoul on April 14, 2015. The global adultery hook-up site Ashley Madison has come back to business in South Korea with vengeance after the country's Constitutional Court struck down a 65-year-old adultery law. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at a dating site on his computer in Washington,DC on February 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO/EVA HAMBACH (Photo credit should read EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
In this June 10, 2015 photo, Ashley Madison's Korean web site is shown on a computer screen in Seoul, South Korea. The Ashley Madison cheating website is making a lucrative, controversial splash in South Korea in the wake of a landmark ruling earlier this year that decriminalizes adultery. So great is the interest here that company executives expect it to be a top-three market globally for them in five years, after the United States and Canada. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
This photo illustration taken on August 20, 2013 shows the homepage of the Ashley Madison dating website displayed on a laptop in Hong Kong. The founder of a dating service promoting adultery is setting his sights on China's cheating hearts after a controversial launch in Hong Kong. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
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The company claims its "Paid Delete" feature allows members to completely wipe out their profiles, including private photos and inbox messages from other members. They are offering that delete feature for free to all members now.

"The Impact Team," the hacker group behind the attack, says the "Paid Delete" feature isn't secure at all -- and that members names, addresses and credit card information are never fully removed from the company's databases.

Krebs on Security posted this statement from the hacker group:

"We've got the complete set of profiles in our DB [database] dumps, and we'll release them soon if Ashley Madison stays online.... A significant percentage of the population is about to have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people." - The Impact Team

And they sure do have a lot of people -- the site has more than 37 million paid members. AshleyMadison.com CEO Noah Biderman recently told CBS News that "central to the creation of Ashley Madison is the collection of big data we have -- 35,000 people a day sign up to Ashley Madison. They self publish what brought them here."

But with big data on millions of customers comes big responsibility -- including keeping their information secure. The company says an investigation is ongoing as to who could be behind the hack -- they believe it could be a former employee, or a contractor.

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