Hackers threaten to leak Ashley Madison's 37 million clients
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:
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.