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Busted: The Implications of Hacking an Adult Cheating Website

Posted August 21st, 2015 at 2:12 pm (UTC-4)
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The Release of Ashley Madison Users’ Info Is More Than Just Embarrassing—It’s a Security Threat

Kaveh Waddell – National Journal

The public release of roughly 33 million people’s personal information from cheating site Ashley Madison on Tuesday, while likely mortifying for the outed users, is more than just an act of public shaming. It’s a very real security threat.

With the information made public, hackers can and likely will leverage the database to get into other password-protected sites and systems…. But while the average Ashley Madison user should be worried that his or her information, now public, could make identity fraud easier for a hacker to pull off, a subset of Ashley Madison users could be in an even riskier position.

preliminary look at the Ashley Madison data dump revealed that about 10,000 emails belonged to U.S. officials, including employees of the Department of Justice and the National Security Agency….

Since the site did not rigorously confirm its users’ email addresses, it’s likely many of the government emails are fake. Forty-four email addresses in the database are on the domain “,” for example, whereas most White House employees have addresses that end in “”


People work on their computers at the British Library in London in this 2013 file photo. (AP)

People work on their computers at the British Library in London in this 2013 file photo. (AP)

If You Used Ashley Madison, Don’t Worry

Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg

In short, the hack revealed a large but random selection of e-mail addresses, useless bits of credit card numbers, possibly fake photos, optimistic height and weight numbers, and heavily encrypted passwords that it will take an inordinately long time to crack….

The real Internet scam might be the business of collecting, parsing and reselling personal data…. Getting the truth would require demanding some sort of digital ID at every corner — something that not even authoritarian states such as China can achieve. Unfaithful husbands and privacy advocates can rest easy. Those who pay good money for data collected from the Internet, though, should worry.


The National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. (AP)

The National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. (AP)

The Ashley Madison Hack Shows We’re Too Dumb to Cheat

Jennifer Weiner – The New York Times

The revelations have the nation in a lather, and not the sexy, let’s-do-it-in-the-shower kind.

The hackers who released the names said they did it, in part, to highlight the site’s failure to keep its promise of privacy. But what it’s really revealed isn’t Ashley Madison’s shortcomings so much as those of our friends, our neighbors and our government officials — who, unlike our friends and neighbors, are paid by you and me. How, I ask you, can a country be great when its government workers aren’t smart enough to scurry over to the anonymous embrace of Hotmail and Yahoo when they want to cheat? …

Right now, I don’t care about cheaters in general. I care about the ones whose lifestyles I’m funding. According to The Washington Post, the capital has the highest rate of membership for the site of any American city. A number of those caught up in the hack work at the Department of Justice and — #irony — the National Security Agency.


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