Ashley Madison Dating Site Members Face Multiple Security Threats
NEWS ANALYSIS: Subscribers to the Ashley Madison "cheaters" dating site have plenty of reasons to worry about the privacy and security of their personal data.No doubt the revelation of a data breach at the online dating site, Ashley Madison has 37 million people looking over their shoulder about now. Unlike some dating sites where singles are put in touch with each other, Ashley Madison exists to facilitate affairs between people who are already attached to someone else. The site's motto, "Life is short. Have an affair," explains it all. While the Ashley Madison breach is hardly the first dating site to be breached, it has significant potential to cause damage that goes far beyond some stolen credit card numbers, although that risk exists. The people who did the hacking, a shadowy bunch called the Impact Team, are threatening to expose all of the information they stole from the site, including names and contact information, but also including credit card numbers, compromising photos, and detailed preferences that most people would prefer not to be made public.
At least some of this information has been posted publicly, according to security researcher and blogger Brian Krebs, who first reported the breach. Unlike most breaches where the goal is money, the Impact Team is demanding that Ashley Madison shut down the site and other similar companion sites.