You may remember that in July, anonymous hackers threatened to reveal stolen personal information of some 40 million users of the controversial dating website AshleyMadison.com. (Ashley Madison’s tagline: “Life is short. Have an affair.”) The hackers, who call themselves Impact Team, said they would post the stolen user data publicly unless Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison’s parent company, took the site and another, EstablishedMen.com, permanently offline.
Avid Life Media did not take its sites offline, and on Tuesday, those hackers appeared to make good on their threat. Ars Technica reporters downloaded a 10-gigabyte file via BitTorrent that “appeared to contain a trove of details taken from a clandestine dating site.” The file contained personal e-mail addresses, profile descriptions, and addresses, as well as users’ weights and heights, Ars Technica reported.
“This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities,” Avid Life Media said in a statement to Wired. “The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world.”
A statement, purportedly from the Impact Team hackers, accompanied the data dump on Tuesday, Wired reports:
Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. 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.