Ashley Madison, the online dating site promising to hook up adulterers and facilitate affairs, has shut down following a massive hack. The cheating site was the victim of a breach that hit their user database as well as financial information. The hack, the full extent of which is still unknown, could compromise the identities of the site’s 37 million users.
Responsibility for the hack was claimed by a group of hackers called The Impact Team. The group leaked some of the sensitive data it stole online, apparently random fragments of user information. Names, financial information and sexual fantasies were included in the leaks. Ashley Madison is owned by Avid Life Media, which also owns similar cheating sites Cougar Life and Established Men.
A notice posted by The Impact Group called for these online cheating sites to be shut down permanently and promised to release all the data it had if Avid Life Media doesn’t comply. It read: “Shutting down AM and EM will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more: We will release all customer records, profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies, nude pictures, and conversation and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.”
ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman confimed the company had been hacked. Biderman condemned the act and promised they were close to finding the culprit. As of Monday morning, the site claims to have secured itself and is working with law enforcement officials to catch the hackers.