In case you hadn’t heard (even with it being in the news recently) there is a web site called Ashley Madison that specializes in enabling married people who want to have an affair to do so; to secretly access their database of 37 million active or potential adulterers. Well, not so secretly, now that their entire database has been hacked by an anonymous group who threatened to reveal all the members if the site isn’t taken down fast.
This article at CBS portrays the hack as a problem of internet security:
BOSTON (CBS) – For a website like AshleyMadison.com that prides itself on secrecy and anonymity, a breach like this can be catastrophic. The site’s subscribers pay to have access to other married people looking to have affairs. They all, presumably, felt that their private information was safe.
“The quick answer is: not that safe,” says Dr. Michael Sulmeyer, the director of the Cyber Security Initiative at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center.
He says Ashley Madison’s clients know now the truth of the web: everything is hackable.
“Largely, you should not have an expectation of ultimate security and privacy,” Sulmeyer explains. “And operate with the understanding that things can go wrong despite all promises to the contrary.”
The group believed to be responsible for the hack claims to have stolen private information from all 37 million Ashley Madison users. On any such site, he says, users can and should change their passwords often.
“Even with that you should not believe that you have total privacy. And if you are really one who wants total privacy then you should not probably be getting on websites like this,” Sulmeyer says.
The hackers are demanding that the whole website be taken down or else they will release all the names and private data they have.
This article at CNN Money tells us:
The hackers called themselves the “Impact Team,” and the potential release includes “profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.”
The site is an obvious target for hackers. After all, its databases have enormous potential for use in blackmail schemes.
The hackers — or hacker, perhaps — appear to be upset over the company’s “full delete” service, which promises to completely erase a user’s profile, and all associated data, for a $19 fee.
“Full Delete netted [Avid Life Media] $1.7 million in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the hackers were quoted as saying in a manifesto published by Krebs. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real names and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”
But what this really shows, what I am more concerned with – is not internet security, so much as the declining values and morals of the American people. The fact that 37 MILLION users are willing to pay for access to the Ashley Madison site (how many more want to cheat on their spouse, but won’t risk getting caught, or don’t want or need to pay for access to such a database of cheaters?) How many tens of millions more adulterers are on other dating sites?
And if the data is released to the public, are tens of millions of marriages at risk of ending soon, almost simultaneously? If even a third of the people on this ONE site are suddenly caught by a suspicious spouse who look up the maybe-soon-to-be-released members list online, and if even one out of three of those find a very ANGRY spouse who files for divorce against them – well, one ninth of 37 million means over 4 million new divorce cases could be filed very soon. How many families will that affect? What impact would such a huge number of divorces have on society?
I would interpret that as just one more sign that America is Mystery Babylon, and headed down the toilet faster than a 1.28 gallon flush. What happens to a nation that abandons the ways of God?