It’s hard to ignore the serious fallout from the data dump of affair site Ashley Madison: from lascivious stories of Josh Duggar’s membership to the site, to credit cards leaked that are still in active use, to a self-proclaimed cynically handy search tool to see if a man you know has or had a membership, a group of hackers called Impact Team have done what is likely irreparable damage to the site.
And if their email interview with Motherboard is any indication, they don’t feel too guilty about it.
They make $100,000,000 in fraud a year. Not very surprised they didn’t shut down. Maybe lawyers can shut them down now. They sound like politicians, cannot stop lying.
Impact Team shed further light on exactly how long the group had been tracking Ashley Madison and its parent company Avid Life Media, and how much data they really have. It turns out that the hackers had targeted the site “a long time ago,” and have roughly 300GB of information on the company.
Impact Team also told Motherboard that there’s evidence indicating that Ashley Madison and ALM’s guarantee of a ‘Full Delete’ of accounts (which retailed on the site for $20) was a lie. Leaked documents indicate that service made ALM $1.7 million in 2014.
In addition to member data, the group also has internal data, company emails and, “Tens of thousands of Ashley Madison user pictures. Some Ashley Madison user chats and messages.”
While conducting the process of stealing the data, Impact Team noted that the security on Ashley Madison was not very stringent. “Nobody was watching. No security,” the hackers said. “You could use Pass1234 from the internet to VPN to root on all servers.”
They also fired back about claims that the data dump is a facilitator for blackmail and extortion:
We didn’t blackmail users. Avid Life Media blackmailed them. But any hacking team could have. We did it to stop the next 60 million. Avid Life Media is like a drug dealer abusing addicts.
For its part, Ashley Madison remains tight-lipped about confirming what information was pilfered from their networks. The company stated earlier this week that simply stated that no full credit card numbers were stolen from the company, as it does not store numbers.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t seemed to have deterred Impact Team from finding them: according to the interview, the group ripped numbers from the credit card processor instead.