On Tuesday, August 18, hackers calling themselves the Impact Team, which claim responsibility for hacking the extramarital affair website Ashley Madison (view related post), and stealing information of up to 37 million people, posted 9.7 gigabytes of data to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser.
The posted files include account and login information of approximately 32 million users of the site. Payment and credit card information from the past 7 years was included in the data dump, with names, addresses, email addresses, amount paid and the last four digits of the credit card used.
It has been reported that thousands of the email addresses may be false as they end in .gov or .mil, and one address may have even belonged to Tony Blair. The site does not require email verification to sign up.
The hackers posted the data stating “TIME’s UP! 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. Find someone you know in here? Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles (view related 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. Find yourself in here? It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you’ll get over it.”
ALM refused to take the sites down following the warnings from the hackers and promised to increase security-maybe a little late.
Recent reports are that the data is legitimate and that anonymous users have verified that they have found themselves in the data dump, including their names, addresses, email addresses and last four digits of their credit card. 32 million people. Ouch. For the 7 million users whose information was not included in the data dump–make amends and go buy a lottery ticket.