Ashley Madison—the dating website whose tag line reads, “Life is short. Have an affair”—finds itself in an awkward position after hackers managed to steal users’ data. That includes “customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions,” according to the BBC.
Ashley Madison, which promises a “100% discreet service”, has over 30 million users worldwide. The site has apologized “for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information.” Avid Life Media, the platform’s parent company which also owns sites such as Cougar Life and Established Men, goes on to say that they “have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized access points.”
The hackers, who call themselves Impact Team, claim to have to retrieved the identities and contact details of the site’s users and have published the information online. “The hackers leaked maps of internal company servers, employee network account information, company bank account data, and salary information,” cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs said.
This is the second prominent hacking of an online dating site in as many months. In May, AdultFriendFinder was also a victim of an intrusion, with data on its 3.9 million users published on the so-called “dark web.”