There's a couple of people here in the office I have my suspicions about. I could do with a laugh.
Adulterous hook-up site Ashley Madison is allowing all members to fully delete their profiles without charge in the aftermath of a serious data breach that threatens the site' future. Previously, if users wanted to delete their records (profile, pictures and messages sent through the system) they were obliged to pay around $20 …
Good thing I'm happily married. I cannot imagine how much divorce lawyers, private investigators, Gawker and others are salivating over having that data released. Here in the US, our politicians have a pretty bad habit of using social media irresponsibly - a few are forced to quit over it; see the unfortunately-named Anthony Wiener. I'll bet more than a few Congresspersons will be on that list, as well as way more than a few executives of major corporations.
I have no idea how people keep an affair secret. Between my wife, 2 kids and a very hectic job, I can barely tread water in my own life let alone keep something like that under wraps!!
Maybe something like this will be the final lesson for people not to divulge their entire life on the Internet. Even cursory Facebook glances of potential job candidates reveal a lot about someone that you don't necessarily want to put out there. And, a lot of companies don't just do a cursory social media glance... My kids are still little, but I wonder if people will have wised up before I have to start telling them not to post drunk pictures on Instagram.
This is what I think. I have no issues with people carrying on with each other, it's their business. I just don't think I could ever handle an affair, just seems like too much trouble plus I can't lie to save my life! Ha ha! Getting up in the morning, getting to work, paying bills and running around dealing with daily life within in a marriage is hard enough, let alone trying to maintain an illicit affair on the side. No wonder people need a website to organise it!
I have no sympathy for any of them, the filthy scum. I hope they all get outed. Having been on the receiving end of marital infidelity some years back, I know how it feels to find out your wife has been playing away from home. (Needless to say we divorced, I'm now remarried and extremely happy with life while she's lonely, single and full of regretful guilt. Ha!)
I have no idea how people keep an affair secret.
Remembering the golden rule might help them - If you're having an affair with someone from work, then everybody at work knows you're chewing the company candy. I know some people will disagree with me, and think they're smart or discreet enough to get away with it, but trust me on this, everybody knows.
I'm happily married, so get to enjoy a nice guilt free sleep next to my Mrs. Reason, opposable thumbs, and mastery of our base urges are what seperates us from the animals.
Previously, if users wanted to delete their records (profile, pictures and messages sent through the system) they were obliged to pay around $20, but that money-spinner has been dropped in the aftermath of a hack that placed Ashley Madison's members in danger of exposure.
It's been widely reported (and by the crew who broke in as well) that while taking the $20 they actually did not delete data. So why should their users believe anything now - especially useless if the data is out in de wild so to speak.
While I have no sympathy with the slurpers, Ashley-Madison's business practices seem extremely dodgy - including fake 'contacts' - for which the morons (whoops users) actually paid to see.
I have no idea about US law, but under UK law the website operators would be legally obliged to hang onto the financial data of each member for six years or so, regardless of whether the user had asked for their records to be deleted. However, the financial transaction data would be fairly limited, and would only detail that User A paid the website $this_much on such and such a date, for website-based services.
There isn't actually any detail of how much data was leaked, or how much data the attacker(s) stole. I would honestly doubt that very much data could be lifted from such a company without alarms being raised; the business transactions databases and credit card databases would seem to be the prime target in such a raid, with the users' sexual preferences and so on being a much more secondary target.
The reasoning here is that whilst known-good credit card details have a ready market and a known going rate, blackmail material does not. Blackmailing people is difficult, intensive work and requires a near-psychopathic bastard to run it for best profit, with a high chance of the blackmailers getting caught either by law enforcement or by enraged adulterers. Furthermore, with photo-manipulation techniques being so prevalent these days, a supposed nude photo of some bloke doesn't have nearly the blackmail potential that it once had; all one needs to say is "That? Photoshopped, I'm much more handsome than that!" and bluff it out.
No, the reason so little data from the hack is getting published is that little data was actually taken.
under UK law the website operators would be legally obliged to hang onto the financial data of each member for six years or so
True enough, but said data could be kept in a tape safe where even the world's best crackers couldn't access it without first getting a tech to physically walk it over to a tape drive.
Furthermore, with photo-manipulation techniques being so prevalent these days, a supposed nude photo of some bloke doesn't have nearly the blackmail potential that it once had; all one needs to say is "That? Photoshopped, I'm much more handsome than that!" and bluff it out.
I actually had someone try to blackmail me with a photoshopped picture once. First I laughed at him and then my wife did. Funny thing about naked photos: our spouses know what we look like naked. Few other people do in most cases. Though I've gotta say I WISH I looked as good as his supposed picture of me did.
But I digress. My point is that if the photo's genuine then you're going to have a hard time explaining to your spouse how someone photoshopped it with the right skin tone and all the right proportions and distinguishing marks (tattoos, moles, birthmarks, whatever) in the right places.
"Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), our team has now successfully removed the all posts related to this incident as well as all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about our users published online," ALN said in a statement.
Because that's exactly how the internet works.
""Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), our team has now successfully removed the all posts related to this incident as well as all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about our users published online,""
And the copies located on servers outside of the colonies where DMCA notices are just something to laugh at?
DMCA.... So you've shut down all the pages in the USA, and those outside of the USA who are bullied by misapplied US law.
I can't see any reason how that could have missed any...
When I have 5 minutes to waste I'll just confirm it's all gone for you...
There is a problem with blackmail - blackmail the wrong person, and you've had it. I bet that between the 37 million "customers", there will be a few dozen who have the talent, the knowledge and the tools to find out who is behind this, especially if given some financial help, a few dozen who can provide any amount of financial help, and a few dozen who would be capable and willing to remove some of the hackers permanently from the gene pool.
This isn't a Hollywood movie and most people aren't cosy with Mafia types, so that's all rather a bit far fetched don't you think?
This isn't Hollywood, this is the same Real Life that had the US physically invade Iraq and deliberately depose the existing government, because they didn't like the existing government. Is that how a sane and developed First World nation is supposed to act in Real Life when dealing with other sovereign nations?
Sometimes you really couldn't make this shit up, and depending on how much power some of these butthurt adulterous leches actually have (Congressmen maybe?), I would venture to suggest that some of the wacko suggestions about people getting offed because of this aren't actually as unlikely as some might think. Art imitates life, and absolute power corrupts absolutely...
"This isn't a Hollywood movie and most people aren't cosy with Mafia types, so that's all rather a bit far fetched don't you think?" --- Amorous Cowherder
He did say "a few dozen" let's say 3 dozen - that's one in a million users might know (or indeed be) "someone useful" Doesn't seem too outrageous to me ...
Personally I dislike that sites like ALM exist. The fact that they're making money by helping people cheat on their spouses is pretty low. But I have an even lower opinion of the type of person who'd steal data and then use it to blackmail a business into shutting it's doors. Even if it's a business I personally find less than savory extortion is just plain reprehensible.
Dirty cheating scumbag celebrities and other assorted high up banksters and suchlike (pretty likely), check!
Tabloid exposure for said cheating bottom feeders who deserve to have their sordid affairs made public.. check!
The hackers did the law abiding public a favour by putting the fear of $Deity into said cheating lowlife, who will be getting what they deserve very soon! Bwahahahaha....
(scuttles off to hide under a rock)
"This isn't a Hollywood movie and most people aren't cosy with Mafia types, so that's all rather a bit far fetched don't you think?"
Very few know gangsters. But, with 37 million customers, it's statistically likely that a few do. Not farfetched at all. And honestly, I think these particular hackers may have it coming to them. Don't get me wrong, it's greasy to use a site like Ashley Madison, but the blackmail these hackers are perpetrating is rather wreckless.
On a side note... 37 million? Really? That seems like rather a lot.
Would be interesting to have citizenship statistics (perhaps the hackers will oblige) but with about 1 out of 2 marriages in the US ending in divorce, I don't think 37 million is far-fetched at all, even if it may be a little distressing / eye-opening.
Talk about a growth market.
It is now reported that Ottawa had ~20% of population signed up. This is just a bit suspicious when one look at demographic data.
Then again, I always assume that sites requiring even numbers of women seeking sex (as opposed to dating) are putting up fake female profiles as a rule.
While my experience with such sites is admittedly N=1 (had a friend running one, his wife was employed to 'respond' to messages and make profiles), my experience IRL (sadly N much larger than 1) is that women seeking sex who are ostensibly in 'relationships' usually do so with someone they know and generally are pretty good about picking male partners who want sex and not a relationship.
The other thing that seems a bit fishy is that every time that I have overheard women discussing infidelity facilitated by a website, it has been one of the normal dating ones.
Perhaps it caters to those (of both sexes) who are too impaired in emotional intelligence to deal with the non-sexual aspects of relationships. It certainly would go a long way to explain the rationalizing of some supposed users that have been quoted in media in the last couple days.
Blackmail only really works if someone has done something seriously illegal.
No it doesn't. Blackmail works whenever the cost of compliance is less than the cost of non-compliance.... sort of like industry regulation really.
Lets pretend I'd signed up to the site as a member. Cheating on my mrs isn't clever but isn't illegal. Divorce, at least in Britain, would almost certainly result in my losing my home, most of my assets, and worst of all, my children.
A woman scorned is unlikely to want to facilitate cooperative arrangements with the father of her children once she has won custody. Access will surely be arranged, but access is all it will ever be. Right now I can go hug my little ones whenever I like, put them to bed, make them dinner, play in the garden with them, read to them... so it goes. Access, well, access isn't that.
In that hypothetical situation, blackmailing me to prevent data release would work all day long. I avoid that by not cheating... seems the easiest solution to me, but what do I know.
"Right now I can go hug my little ones whenever I like, put them to bed, make them dinner, play in the garden with them, read to them... so it goes. Access, well, access isn't that."
Based on the content of your post and the complete lack of the obligatory "happily married" comment, I can only assume you're being blackmailed by your wife currently???
Blackmail only really works if someone has done something seriously illegal.
Nope. Blackmail works really well with anything the victim doesn't want to be public knowledge. Case in point, I've got a good friend who was blackmailed all through high school and well into college by a sleazebag who had pictures of him with his first boyfriend. There was nothing illegal going on, but he was far from ready to come out of the closet. When he did, thankfully, his blackmailer got to taste justice.
I know another guy who lives in constant fear of someone obtaining proof that he's a crossdresser (he's a bit on the paranoid side). Anyone who had such proof and low moral fiber could easily blackmail him.
You don't have to be doing anything illegal to be blackmailed. Embarrassing or stigmatizing is enough.
Anon because there's a reason I know these guys so well and I'd rather not have those particular dots connected at this point in my life.
The DMCA has generally been (ab)used by megacorps to stifle Free Speech and generally make artists' lives miserable. People have seen videos THEY RECORDED taken down because some twat working for a media corp thought it might have something to do with the crap his company was selling.
The DMCA has also been copiously used as an excuse to shut someone up when said person was justifiably exposing wrongdoings or something that could make a corporation look ridiculous.
How ironic is it that the one good use of this otherwise nefarious piece of trash is to protect cheaters ?
If the deed is already done, it can't be un-done. Perhaps If they'd individually contacted people to suggest they change their ways a better outcome would occur. If this info is revealed, there may be a huge wave of divorces, children living in single parent families, a spike in murders, and more pressure on the housing market in areas where many ordinary people cannot afford to get on the housing ladder. Not to mention that some people may "cheat" with their partner's acceptance, but whom would not want others to find out about the situation.
Law of unintended consequences. Of course no good will come of it. People living in fear of discovery, will live in increased fear, and may even be victimized by the hackers or their confederates.
Bad news all around, although it could lead to some interesting scandals.
Few years ago, as a prank, we signed one of our particularly annoying PHBs up to one of these dating sites after she was silly enough to leave her credit card number on view. I can't remember if it was Ashley Madison, it may have been Adult FriendFinder, I can't remember, but I hope she hasn't gotten hitched in the meantime or this could be a hefty does of Karma winging her way!
If, as AM is implying, this was an inside job by some kind of contract worker, and the data acquisition was possible by privileges and passwords, then it is not a hack. Depending on the non-disclosure wording and Canadian law it could even conceivably not be subject to espionage prosecution.
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