Adultery-based dating website Ashley Madison’s torture continues today, as the hackers responsible for releasing 10 gigabytes of user data – including names, addresses and financial details – earlier this week have now made a public a further 20GB of compressed files.
The dump seems to include details of Noel Biderman, CEO of Ashley Madison’s holding company Avid Life Media, with the hackers signing off the PGP signature message accompanying the leak with, “Hey Noel, you can admit it’s real now”, after the CEO’s reticence to pronounce the data leak genuine.
The US Defense Department and Postal Service is also now investigating apparent use of military and other governmental departmental email accounts on the Ashley Madison, while in the UK, accounts have been found registered at government and police force addresses.
Lawyers in Canada have already launched a class-action lawsuit worth $760m in damages on behalf of Ashley Madison users in that country.
Meanwhile a widower named Eliot Shore, of Ottawa, is suing Avid Life Media directly on the grounds that he joined Ashley Madison “for a short time in search of companionship” but never met anybody in person, and now has to suffer the indignity of having his details leaked.
With the hacking group’s original aim to completely take Ashley Madison down – the threat being that if Avid Life didn’t, the hackers would do it forcibly – it seems this plan could be reaching fruition.
Even if the site’s customers don’t completely dessert it – media coverage of the attack , has almost certainly now made Ashley Madison a toxic brand – it’s likely that the mounting lawsuits might.
The apparently questionable “full delete” feature offered by Ashley Madison – in which it didn’t apparently fully wipe users’ details (including payment details) after requests and payment – is another avenue of litigation it may have to face.
The different laws and legal systems of the many, many countries members live in may also cause mounting aggro for Ashley Madison.