Over one million British cheats could be at risk of having their adulterous antics exposed thanks to the Ashley Madison hack.
The website, which facilitates intimate affairs between individuals, was recently compromised, meaning its 37.5 million users could soon be revealed to the public..
It’s now been confirmed, however, that 1.2 million British users were subscribed to the website, as reported by the Telegraph.
Ashley Madison, which runs with the tagline “life is short, have an affair”, claims it ‘guarantees’ its users will ‘find someone’.
Unfortunately for those users, the entire website’s member database has been acquired by hacker group The Impact Team.
The group has since issued an ultimatum to Ashley Madison’s owners – Avid Life Media – demanding that the website is closed down, or else all the user information will be revealed.
The information compromised includes names, ages, addresses, credit card information, and even sexual fantasies of users.
“Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison...offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records,” the Impact Team explained in a statement.
The hack is claimed to be a consequence of Ashley Madison’s policy of charging users £15 for a ‘full delete’ of their information if they want to leave the website.
Users can hide their profile for free, but the company maintains that the ‘full delete’ is the only way for an individual to remove information from the website’s servers.
This service reportedly generated $1.7 million revenue for Avid Life Media throughout 2014. The Impact Team claims the service is “a complete lie”.
It’s currently believed that the attack was carried out by an individual who had worked with ALM’s “technical services”.
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The company has released the following statement: “We apologise for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information.”
It continues: “The current business world has proven to be one in which no company’s online assets are safe from cyber-vandalism, with Avid Life Media being only the latest among many companies to have been attacked, despite investing in the latest privacy and security technologies.”
It concluded: “At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorised access points. We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber-terrorism will be held responsible.”
Fortunately for British users, the possibility of a class action lawsuit against Canada-based Avid Life Media has been raised.
Pulina Whitaker, a partner at Morgan Lewis, said: “Canada has very tight data protection laws, and British victims should be able to get redress through the Canadian courts and join a class action suit.”