We previously reported that hackers The Impact Team had posted legitimate detailed information about 36 million adultery website Ashley Madison users. In the wake of the shocking posting of the data last week, two class action lawsuits were filed against Ashley Madison parent company Avid Dating Life the day after the posting in Canada for failing to protect the information of its clients and falsely advertising that it would remove all record of use from its databases. The named plaintiff is a widow who joined the site after he lost his wife of 30 years.
Widespread reports are that the data is easily searchable, and has revealed keys to users’ email addresses and sexual preferences. Although the company has pledged to try to scrub the data from the Internet, the links have gone viral, which will make it very difficult. Security experts warn and have confirmed that the data has been used to try to blackmail users.
Among those concerned are bankers and military personnel. It has been reported by security firms that have searched the website that over 600 bankers’ work email addresses were used to register on the site (although they could be fake as email verification was not required), and several well-known banks have had to issue “no comment” press releases after the banks were publicly named.
After reports that there were over 15,000 .mil email addresses included in the database, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an investigation into the use of military emails by military personnel to sign up for Ashley Madison accounts. Adultery is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In the meantime, Avid Life is working with law enforcement and is offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.