back to article Reg reader shares AshMad blackmail email about which he gives 'zero f***s'

A Reg reader named Dave*, who admits to having been a member of Ashley Madison, has sent us the letter he received from blackmailers. Dave was in the early stages of a divorce when he signed up and “was separated … never paid, only looked at single women while deciding whether to pay to contact them, so zero fucks given.” The …

  1. The Nazz Silver badge

    The Golden Cow?

    Milking this AM situation/fiasco for all it is worth?

    Mentionning no names or organisations.

    1. TheProf

      Re: The Golden Cow?

      Well ElReg has to keep us ad watchers happy.

      1. Bleu

        Re: The Golden Cow?

        To be fair, the reg. was ad-free or without noticable ads for a looong time (not counting some reviews). Seeing them at the top of the page is a little disconcerting, but nobody is forcing you to click on the links.

        1. JulieM Silver badge

          Re: The Golden Cow?

          It still is ad-free, if you know how to configure BIND .....

          1. Dick

            Re: The Golden Cow?

            ...or use Adblock Plus.

            1. seven of five

              Re: The Golden Cow?

              Odd, I have deactiveted ABP for El Reg but don´t get any ads. Darn, I can´t tell whether I should feel cheated now...

              1. Lionel Baden

                Re: The Golden Cow?

                Only blocked ads on the reg, was when they started getting full page. had nowhere to click to pull it to the front to scroll.

    2. PleebSmash

      Re: The Golden Cow?

      The tech press and the mainstream press are reporting on Ashley Madison frequently. Why shouldn't El Reg follow suit? Clearly there's interest, just look at the comment sections.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why doesn't someone send out an email to everyone in the dump warning them that their email is in the data and that some scumbags will try and use it with your facebook emails if they can get them with nice handy tips on how to avoid this?

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      True. No one would ever suspect the motives behind or security of a system that suddenly sends emails out to a very large number of addresses! :)

      (That said, I do believe it to be a good idea - but maybe some work from a few people/organisations to share the load - and perhaps Google, MS, all ISPs etc could email their own users who appear on the list - although that said those emails could also cause issues - say I was on AM and forgot about it and am since married or....)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is as if these people never watched Breaking Bad.

    The scammer will obviously be back demanding payment for not releasing the facebook contact list.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: It is as if these people never watched Breaking Bad.

      Better Call Saul.

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: It is as if these people never read Kipling.

      And that is called paying the Dane-geld;

      But we've proved it again and again,

      That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld

      You never get rid of the Dane.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: It is as if these people never read Kipling.

        And why would you ?

        Have you seen how much nicer the people from the Danelaw are, than those southern Saxons ?

        1. graeme leggett

          Re: It is as if these people never read Kipling.

          A big area, the Danelaw. from Durham down to London, Bucks, Middlesex, from East Anglia across to Leicester .

      2. nijam

        Re: It is as if these people never read Kipling.

        A more apposite - and pithier - quote is this one, attributed to the Duke Of Wellington:

        Publish and be damned.

      3. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Danegeld?

        Wow. A useful addition to my literature awareness, thanks. No I haven't read ALL of Kipling, so I missed that. But a Google seach (re)introduced me to such colourful names as Æthelred the Unready and Sigeric the Serious.

        Andus the Sheepsh***er pales into insignificance against those (I wish!)

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    So this person

    Is trying to blackmail people by telling their friends that they are human and want to have sex. I think I'd be more horrified if someone told my my buddy isn't looking for sex...

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: So this person

      Probably works better on those who are "happily" married and have a spouse, children, and in-laws who would not be pleased to learn they were looking for a little something extra outside the marriage. Not that that's uncommon, but why go to a site like this one that promises anonymity unless you were worried about people finding out?

      What I wonder about is why 1.05 bitcoins? Why not exactly one bitcoin? I guess he targeted a specific amount in his currency of choice and that's what it worked out to be? He may have left a clue as to his nationality if you check popular currencies like USD, Euro, pound, ruble, etc. and see which one would have had a nice round number like 100 or 500 or whatever for 1.05 bitcoins the day before that was sent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So this person

        The odd fraction is different for every customer which helps to identify which customers have paid up.

        Of course someone who was even more unscrupulous would just find married men on Facebook and tell them that they are going to tell their friends and family that they have been found on the AM website. This would save the time of having to download the whole database of data which in many cases also gets lots of malware.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So this person

          "Of course someone who was even more unscrupulous would just find married men on Facebook"

          This is why I don't have a fakebook or twatter account

          But now don't have an AM account either :(

          FuckBook, you have a new member (phnarr phnarr)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So this person

            I'm also immune to this kind of blackmail. I have a Facebook account - but no friends

            1. ravenviz

              Re: no friends (Re: So this person...

              it would 't matter, I'm pretty sure most web-enlightened people would perceive any such 'revelation' as spam anyway.

          2. DropBear Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: So this person

            "This is why I don't have a fakebook or twatter account

            But now don't have an AM account either :("

            No Facebook account, no Twitter account, no Ashley Madison account. Then again, no spouse either, divorced or otherwise. So, I win...?

        2. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: So this person

          I was spammed with something like this (a bit more ESL) to the address I use to register on sites that require an authenticated email before they let you download something. So just spam it and hope you hit some one feeling guilty.

        3. Old Handle

          Re: So this person

          The odd fraction is different for every customer which helps to identify which customers have paid up.

          Not according to the previous story. They used a unique address for each "customer" (as is the normal practice with bitcoin payments) so there would be no need for the amounts to be unique. Not to mention it sounds like they were bluffing and so didn't need to keep track of who paid anyway.

      2. Midnight

        Re: So this person

        "What I wonder about is why 1.05 bitcoins? Why not exactly one bitcoin?"

        You have to add VAT.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: So this person

          So there is honesty amongst thieves.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: So this person

            >So there is honesty amongst thieves.

            Not really - they have obviously based their extortion operations in Luxemburg as a tax scam

  5. Maelstorm Bronze badge

    Good for him.

    Good for him. I would actively try to contact the blackmailer and tell them to go ahead because I don't care. I would add an nice f-off as well. So trying to blackmail someone who is single who is looking for some broad to bang only proves one thing: That someone is human.

    Big deal.

    NEXT!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good for him.

      "Good for him. I would actively try to contact the blackmailer and tell them to go ahead because I don't care."

      The worst thing you can possibly do, because he has now confirmed your email address is real.

      You have to assume that thousands of these things are being cranked out by a bot and a human being is looking out for the responses. If you don't answer, chances are you will be ignored because he's going after the ones stupid enough to respond.

  6. Bleu

    If he was already in the process of a divorce

    I cannot see how 'Dave' has a problem. Surely any of the people the database querier threatens to tell would think nothing of it?

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: If he was already in the process of a divorce

      It's like you didn't read the article or headline. This is just an example of what Ashley Madison blackmail could look like.

      1. Bleu

        Re: If he was already in the process of a divorce

        I did read the article and headline, however, conditioning by all of the horror stories and a few drinks made me just repeat 'Dave's' conclusion, one cannot also help but wonder if 'Dave's' story is the whole.

        Perhaps the same thinking that led him to sign up for Madison in reaction was behind the start of the nasty divorce or if the sign-up or similar behaviour was a pre-existing thing and part of a pattern leading to the divorce?

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: If he was already in the process of a divorce

          Perhaps the same thinking that led him to sign up for Madison in reaction was behind the start of the nasty divorce or if the sign-up or similar behaviour was a pre-existing thing and part of a pattern leading to the divorce?

          Quite frankly, I can't see that it's any of your damn business, and speculation about "Dave's" reasons for either his divorce or signing up to AM are not something that should be aired and discussed on this forum.

          The story was published to show the sort of blackmail methods and threats that certain scumbuckets have tried to use on those who appear in the database.

          The morality or otherwise of using sites like AM is besides the point.

  7. PleebSmash
    Trollface

    funky and spunky

    “You may be wondering why should you and what will prevent other people from doing the same, in short you now know to change your privacy settings on Facebook so no one can view your friends/family list. So go ahead and update that now (I have a copy if you don't pay) to stop any future e-mails like this.”

    All we have to do is make everyone's Facebook information public, and then the blackmail won't work!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I work in I.T. so obviously my email isn't on the list because of,

    A. I would know how to hide it.

    B. I'm a virgin (technically inaccurate but lets go with the Cliché)

    p.s. How can you make public something that already is?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Joke

      "B. I'm a virgin"

      Yes, but in which orifice?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "B. I'm a virgin"

        armpit...

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: "B. I'm a virgin"

          "armpit"

          www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS2N1mBsEdM

  9. Peter Stone

    When this story was first published, back in July, & I read that no email addresses were verified, I did wonder what would stop the spam merchants from grabbing a pile of email addresses, sending out something similar, on a random basis & seeing what came of it.

    Possibly more than has been collected to date?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whoever it is, given the lag between the database dumps becoming available and these emails going out, I'd say they're not used to shredding and ingesting something like this. [ETL of a particular kind.] It's not really that difficult, usually involves trial and a lot of error if never done before. I smell an opportunist, not a "hacker."

    2. Thomas Whipp

      random emails

      surely its less effort just to use the list published? People trying this sort of fraud are looking to turn a profit so will be trying to minimize effort (unless there is a good reason to believe that additional effort will increase profit).

  10. Antonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    “Consider how expensive a divorce lawyer is,” the letter says

    Can't help feeling that that particular specimen of pondlife might have missed a trick.

    ----->

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I wouldn't mind helping him miss a step on his way down.

      Carrion crawlers. I despise those.

  11. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Legal precedent

    I would refer them to the response given in Arkell vs Pressdram (1971).

    But then I am a firm believer that if you can't tell your wife about it then you probably shouldn't be doing it.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: Legal precedent

      <snip off quoted court case that never was>

      "But then I am a firm believer that if you can't tell your wife about it then you probably shouldn't be doing it."

      Tell her when making love that her sistser is better at it than she. You will have to hang on but you will have the ride of your life.

      I actually agree, my wife once told me I was brutally honest.

  12. phil dude
    Coat

    Monty Python...

    were way ahead of their time....

    Terry Jones sitting naked at an organ - "Ooh Err!!!".

    P.

  13. Rol Silver badge

    Dear blackmailer

    I have brought it to my employers attention that you are misusing the internet, for monetary gain.

    While my employer has allowed many companies to continue in a similar manner, it is on the understanding that Uncle Sam gets some tax dollars and or some useful intelligence.

    Your venture appears to do neither and as such will be flagged up and passed to several of my colleagues who will pursue your maligned arse to the ends of your router connection.

    While the courts take a very dim view of such activities, my colleagues and I take it very personally indeed.

    You have ten days to put your life in order and say goodbye to any loved ones.

    Bob Crockshit (Not my real name)

    Chief intelligence officer

    NSA

    The entire World (and beyond if necessary)

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: Dear blackmailer

      My response, if I were bothered to give one, would be more along the lines of:

      Dear Blackmailer,

      Having received your demand for X amount of bitcoin I would like to inform you that I would consider it a more sound investment, to spend 5 times as much hiring a hacker to hunt you down, and a hitman to torch your house and rape your wife and kill your kids while you watch before gouging your eyes out with a blunt butter knife and skinning you alive with a rusty razor blade soaked in sulphuric acid, before posting the resulting video to YouTube as a warning to other blackmailers and scammers that stealing from me doesn't lead to a happy ending.

      Kind regards,

      Ramsay Bolton,

      Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Dear blackmailer

        You can buy all that for just BTC 5.25???

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So he has involved the Police and will be

    helping to make contact with the blackmailer (whether in possession of some black or just a chancer) so as to arrange their arrest and de-anonymisation?

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: So he has involved the Police and will be

      De-anonymising, yes. But why would you get the police involved? Proper handling of a blackmailer cannot happen once police is involved.

  15. Francis Vaughan

    Why bother with the AM members list?

    If you were running this blackmail routine, why would you even bother with the AM email list? Far too much effort. Just spam everyone you possibly can. You will get enough hits on people that actually were on the list, even if they didn't use the email address you send the blackmail too. Enough idiots may fall for it (at least until it becomes one of the more prevalent spam emails) to make it lucrative enough. Actually following up on the threats is a waste of time. Hard to believe the usual villains are not onto this already.

    I am a little surprised it isn't already a common general spam email. When it becomes so, a curious result may eventuate. The impact of the release of the real email list may become muted. (If anyone actually has cared so far.)

  16. Hoe

    I hope they find my email...

    I could do with a stupid pen pal to talk too. :)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My wife recently discovered I have an account on El Reg...

    Luckily she was ok about it, and probably better she knows now than to wait for the inevitable hack and privacy threatening emails. I like to think the disclosure has made our marriage even stronger now.

  18. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Dear Marjorie

    I feel life is passing me by.

    All my friends and acquaintances enjoy an active on-line life with endless emails from scammers extortionists and blackmailers, but these days I don't even get messages from that delightful Nigerian prince any more.

    Oh how I long for the thrill of a new demand, and the excitement (tinged with just a touch of fear) of deciding what action to take.

    Please tell me. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Jedit

      "Please tell me. What am I doing wrong?"

      You didn't sign up to AshleyMadison, obviously.

  19. CrazyCanuck

    I get this silly email:

    Thank you for your interest. We understand that you are interested in learning more details that are tied to a specific email address. With 37 million users’ compromised in the leak, we’ve had an influx of requests to provide leak reports, deep web research reports and "UnTraceMe" requests.

    If you are interested in getting a full research report (this contains every piece of data that was leaked and tied to a specific person), please click "Order Now" below. The report costs $19.95, and you will get the report INSTANTLY after payment. Along with the report, you will have the option of using our UnTraceMe service for FREE, in which, our private team will get your information secured and removed from the internet.

    http://untraceme.pw/search/

    Sounds like a scam to me. I don't give a fuck. Sure I signed up to see if I knew someone on there. Some woman did message me but I never bothered to reply or read the message. Untraceme? LOL

  20. JoeF

    "It still is ad-free, if you know how to configure BIND ....."

    Or run an ad-blocker in your browser, which does it for you...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not his real name

    >You'll understand why by the time you read down to here

    No I don't: If he doesn't give a f***, and I actually care even less about knowing, then why not use a real name.

    And it wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference to the story if you'd not even given any name.

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