You may not have heard this before, but you have to be careful when putting personal information on the internet.
Some information, such as credit card numbers and shipping addresses, seem unavoidable if you want Amazon to leave anything on your porch.
Detailing your sexual fantasies and posting nude photos online? Unless you’re a porn star, that’s probably not prudent.
A group of hackers known as “The Impact Team” has allegedly stolen the info — names, addresses, credit card info, nude photos and favorite perversions — of 37 million users of the website “Ashley Madison,” which helps married adults commit adultery.
Toronto-based Avid Life Media owns Ashley Madison and has admitted the theft.
“We’re not denying this happened,” ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman said. “Like us or not, this is still a criminal act.”
The hackers targeted Ashley Madison because the website charged users $20 to fully delete all trace of their activity, but retained the users’ information — including the naughty stuff — on their servers.
“Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the hacking group wrote in their online manifesto. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”
The hackers are demanding ALM take down the Ashley Madison website, which has over 124 million visits per month.
Reuters reports the hackers also want sugar-daddy site “Established Men” taken down, but seem to be OK with the company’s “CougarLife” site, which caters to women looking for “a young stud.”
Ashley Madison, which uses the slogan “Life is short. Have an affair”, may not have long to appease the hacking group, which has already released some info.
The hackers, like most criminals, think what they are doing is justified.
“Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion,” the hackers wrote. “Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver. We’ve got the complete set of profiles in our DB dumps, and we’ll release them soon if Ashley Madison stays online. … a significant percentage of the population is about to have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people.”