Online ‘cheating’ website hacked

Online ‘cheating’ website hacked.

Online dating website, Ashley Madison, which caters for the married market has become the latest target of a monumental hack over the past few days. The site which essentially encourages married people to cheat on their spouses is said to have the personal data of its 37 million users exposed! 

Ashley Madison who market themselves as the largest online matchmaking site in the US, is designed to facilitate infidelity and utilises the slogan, “life is short. Have an affair.” Their so called ‘discreet’ service has quickly become the subject of much entertainment online due to hackers, known as The Impact Team hacking into the personal details of its users.


 

“Full Delete”

The hackers also claim that Ashley Madison’s selling point, which offers users the ability to delete their data, known as a ‘full delete’ service for a further charge of $19 is a farce. The hackers accuse Ashley Madison of retaining this personal data despite the promise that it would be removed for the premium fee - as such the hackers are maintaining that they have obtained this information and are threatening to publish it, unless the site is closed down permanently. 

The personal data which has been hacked comprises of the company’s personal electronic documentation, such as user’s credit card information, particulars of salaries and the highly embarrassing and intimate details regarding user’s 

sexual preferences.

The motive behind the hack seems to be to permanently close down the Ashley Madison website and the hackers are threatening to publish pieces of this very personal information every day until the website is removed altogether. 

Suffice to say that the vast majority of those married users taking advantage of the website’s ‘discreet’ services expect their profiles to remain secure and anonymous and would undoubtedly be more than a little concerned to find their names and other private account details exposed.

 This recent incident is an interesting one with coverage of various areas of law– it highlights the practical requirement for internet security as well as entertaining a debate on the moral concept of these online sites. For some it will be seen as a positive that websites like Ashley Madison are exposed - recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics in 2012 quoted that 1 in 7 UK marriages ending in divorce were based on adultery. However, there is an argument that if spouses are going to cheat, they are they going to do it regardless as to whether companies like Ashley Madison and others which encourage such behaviour are live. How would you feel if your identity was exposed all over the internet? However, how would you feel if you found out that your spouse was on an illicit dating website? 

 There are endless arguments regarding the morals of such behaviour, but if you have been subjected to an adulterous spouse, get in touch with one of our specialist family lawyers on 0208 252 7373 for a sympathetic ear to discuss in detail all of the options available to you…we do also have a renown Internet Law team as well – should you be the victim of hacking.

 

Simone Barton

Pinder Reaux