Ashley Madison is a dating website, with one important twist: Instead of connecting eligible singles, it caters to married people interested in having an affair. The site claims to have 37 million members, and has in the past bragged about its data security.
The site is an obvious target for hackers. After all, its databases have enormous potential for use in blackmail schemes.
The company said that while it had stringent security measure in place, they “have unfortunately not prevented this attack. At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized access points, we are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act,” the company said
The hackers called themselves the “Impact Team.” If Ashley Madison is not taken offline, they have threatened to “release customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.”
The hack follows a similar event in March, when more than 3.5 million people’s sexual preferences, fetishes and secrets were exposed after dating site Adult FriendFinder was hacked.