Ashley Madison Hackers Publish Data About Cheating Users, Putting A Ton Of Personal Info Online For All To See

After promising to publish a full set of data if Avid Life Media didn't shut down their popular cheating website, hackers released stolen data of Ashley Madison users, Wired reports. A group that calls itself Impact Team threatened in July to release data it had stolen from Ashley Madison and several partner websites because it was angry over the fact that users had to pay a deletion fee to have their information removed from the site — and, Impact Team claims, despite paying the fee, Ashley Madison wouldn't actually delete the data. So, on Tuesday the hacking group posted a data dump of millions of users — who are generally on the website to cheat on their significant other — and the information could put them at risk.

Despite what you might think about people using a website to cheat, the information released by Impact Team is serious, and you're probably best off not reading the list or using it as gossip material. The data included not only log-in information and user names, but also actual names, email addresses, physical addresses, weight, height, profile descriptions, and credit card transactions, according to Ars Technica, which downloaded the 10-gigabyte file that claims to hold the information of millions of users. And Impact Team didn't release the information out of a moral outrage — remember, it was just mad about the deletion fee.

Ashley Madison said in a statement to Ars Technica that it is monitoring and investigating the situation, and stated that "we will continue to put forth substantial efforts into removing any information unlawfully released to the public, as well as continuing to operate our business":

This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities. The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world. We are continuing to fully cooperate with law enforcement to seek to hold the guilty parties accountable to the strictest measures of the law.

Image: Ashley Madison