Thousands of Philadelphians Could Have Online Affairs Exposed
Hackers have broken into the database of cheating website AshleyMadison.com and are threatening to publicly release information about the site’s users — an act that could affect thousands of Philadelphians who have reportedly signed up for the site in recent years.
TribLive reports that as many as 600,000 Pennsylvanians could have information exposed; in Philadelphia, as many as 210,000 residents had reportedly used the site at one point, with 30,000 signing up in 2012 alone.
Avid Life Media, the parent company of AshleyMadison.com, said Monday it has secured the data breach. “We apologize for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information,” the company said in a press release. “We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds, and have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world.”
Experts were unsure if the company’s measures had blocked the hackers from making good on their threats.
“It’s unclear how much of the AshleyMadison user account data has been posted online. For now, it appears the hackers have published a relatively small percentage of AshleyMadison user account data and are planning to publish more for each day the company stays online,” the Krebs on Security website reported.
The Guardian reports that company officials believe the hack was an “inside job.” “I’ve got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials,” a senior official said.. “It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services.”
The company is letting users purge their personal data from the website for free; previously users had to pay a $19 fee for the service.