Earlier this month, online dating/cheating site Ashley Madison had its data breached by a group called The Impact Team. The group is lobbying for completely shutting down the site, and has been threatening to release users’ sensitive information if their demands aren’t met. Their demands are aimed at Avid Life Media (ALM), Ashley Madison’s parent company head-quartered in Toronto.
The hackers have leaked personal information from only two people so far. Considering that the site has around 37M-40M registered users, this is miniscule. The group is specifically targeting Ashley Madison’s “full delete” feature, where a user must pay to get his information scrubbed from the site. According to The Impact Team, the feature “netted ALM $1.7M in revenue in 2014.”
This is significant because it’s the second online dating site that’s encountered a massive data breach within a few months: Adult Friend Finder went through a similar situation back in May. But this case is unique in that it’s the only one that’s fallen prey to what ‘Time” calls “data kidnapping:” the hackers won’t leak the data unless they get what they want.
Ashley Madison is ranked #18 in adult sites, and received 124K+ visits on desktop since January 2015.