So, I’ve been following this whole Ashley Madison leak for a week or two, and I think it’s finally run its course, at least as far as I’m concerned. There doesn’t seem to be any new newsworthy developments. The long and short of it is:
- Ashley Madison, a website that encourages and promotes extramarital affairs, was hacked and had information about nearly 40 million users made publicly accessible
- Credit Card information, locations, photographs, chats and more were recovered, even after users had deleted their accounts
- An estimated 10,000 users that were exposed used government-issues email addresses and computers, bringing security into question
- The group “Impact Team” has come forward as the responsible party
As a result of the Ashley Madison hack, the first of presumably many class action lawsuits has been filed, seeking nearly $600 million in damages for any Canadian citizen that had information leaked. The lawyers that filed the suit were quoted as saying: “The sensitivity of the information is so extreme and the repercussions of this breach are so extreme, it puts the damages faced by members in a completely different category of class-action suits.” And you know what, that’s probably true. This is way beyond ruining someone’s marriage. You’re potentially ruining their life by making them a victim of public ridicule on a global scale. Global cyber bullying.
And then there’s the issue of cyber-security. If a multi-million dollar company can be hacked “easily” (as Impact Team states), how do we know that the same thing isn’t happening on other sites? And, we should probably be thankful (yes, thankful) that the hackers didn’t choose to rack up millions of dollars in credit card charges using the info that they stole, instead of just publishing their names and email addresses online.
The Impact Team stated that they had been inside Ashley Madison’s servers for years, and were waiting for the right time to expose them. How many other sites have they infiltrated? How many credit card companies, government agencies, dating sites, etc. are they waiting for the right time to expose?