You’ve all read about the Ashley Madison data hack that rocked the globe, ever since the incident was reported last month. While it is a scary situation to be in for the members, even the non-members are equally tensed – who wouldn’t be affected to know about his/her partner’s cheating escapades outside marriage?

For the uninitiated, Ashley Madison is a website for the adults looking for partners to carry on with discreet affairs, outside marriage. So, from the guy next door to the hunk in office – you never know who would be a member of this online dating site. While for the generation next, infidelity doesn’t ring bells as loud as it did to couples of the previous generations, the entire episode on cheating is nonetheless still going to be a non-pleasant experience. Here’s in brief all you need to know about this major hack that has on stake private information of over 30 million users.

  • Ashley Madison is run by Avid Life Media (ALM) that also owns Cougar Life and Established Men.
  • An anonymous group called Impact Team has claimed that they have successfully hacked through the databases of Avid Life Media and taken control of all the sensitive data stored there.
  • They have also claimed that they are the masterminds behind leaking the Ashley Madison subscribers’ details.
  • Soon after the news of the breach was out, the group threatened to come public with all the details, financial transactions, and fantasies of the subscribers unless ALM went completely offline with Ashley Madison and Established Men.
  • At least 37 million users’ private information is at risk of getting leaked online, jeopardizing their public and personal lives.
  • The group has issued several messages to the users with one of them telling them that “It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you’ll get over it.”
  • The fact that the website retained so much user information on its servers without properly securing it in itself raises a few questions on what the website creators thought of about the users’ security while doing so.
  • With the ‘Full Delete’ option made available to the users at just $19, ALM no doubt minted a few millions but the privacy wasn’t ensured as was promised. This option promised to delete the personal details of the users from the ALM database to keep the alliance private; however, it appears that this is far from true.
  • The details still continued to be available on the ALM database and this made the situation even more embarrassing and uncontrollable for the users, post the leak.
  • After threatening to go public with the details, Impact Team has made searching for a cheating partner in the database a relatively easier task. By entering the name, e-mail address or phone number of your partner, you can easily find if he/she had registered with this website before 11 July 2015.
  • As a consequence of the hack, many subscribers could lose their jobs, their pension eligibility and even be imprisoned for practicing adultery. This is typically the case for military personnel and many email addresses that have been leaked belong to the .mil domain.
  • As per the latest reports on this, a few members have already received ransom notes that threatened that their details and fantasies along with other relevant information will be shared with their spouses unless they transferred Bitcoins of $225 to an address (also mentioned in the note).

So, as you can see, after the OPM, Anthem and Premera data breach instances, the Ashley Madison hack will remain the talk of the town for long. For more updates on this data breach instance, watch out this space…