Dating Site Ashley Madison Hacked, Could Expose 37M Cheaters

Avid Life Media, the company that owns the notorious cheating Web site Ashley Madison, announced today that it had been hacked over the weekend, potentially exposing the financial and personal details of its 37.5 million customers to the world.

The site, which has billed itself as EUthe most famous name in infidelity and married dating,EU is now being threatened by the hackers who broke into its system. Avid Life Media also owns the Established Men and Cougar Life Web sites.

The hackers, who call themselves The Impact Team, are threatening to release information, including naked pictures, credit card data, and sexual fantasies if the company does not shut down the Ashley Madison and Established Men sites immediately and permanently.

Liable for Fraud and Extreme Harm

The Toronto-based media company is only the latest in a long list of organizations that have suffered from damaging data breaches in recent months, including the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Hacking Team, based in Italy. And only two months earlier, the dating site AdultFriendFinder had its user information leaked to the public.

The breach was first reported by Krebs on Security, which posted screen captures of posts made by the hackers. EUAvid Life Media will be liable for fraud and extreme harm to millions of usersEU if it fails to shut down Ashley Madison and Established Men, the hackers said.

One of the key issues motivating the hackers seems to be Avid Life MediaEUs offer to fully delete a userEUs data for $19. According to the hackers, the company actually keeps users' credit card information as well as real names and addresses on file, which The Impact Team said it can prove by leaking the data.

Avid Life Media said that it is aware of the breach and has contacted law enforcement to track...

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