Ashley Madison claims to be the world’s leading site for discreet encounters. Screenshot by Luke Westaway/CNET
The hacking scandal at the adultery website Ashley Madison has claimed a new victim: the CEO of the site’s parent company.
Avid Life Media announced Friday that Noel Biderman has stepped down as chief executive and left the company.
“This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees,” Avid Life Media said in a statement. “We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base.”
That customer base has been shell-shocked in recent weeks. In July, a group called the Hacking Team revealed that it had stolen information from the site, including data both on the company itself and on more than 30 million Ashley Madison patrons, who sign up with the goal of having extramarital affairs — and expecting confidentiality.
The cyberattackers threatened to release the embarrassing data if the website didn’t shut down. Ashley Madison refused, and this month the hackers delivered on their threat. But the information they’ve released may not be entirely trustworthy, with some mixture of accounts that weren’t genuine to start with and the potential for the hackers to have inserted their own disinformation.
Earlier this week, Avid Life Media put a bounty out for the cyberattackers, offering $500,000 Canadian (US$377,000) to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of those involved.
The company said in its statement Friday that it is still “actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals” but will continue to provide access to its members.