Ashley Madison Cyber-Attack
The Ashley Madison hacking scandal is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the site's reported 37 million users around the world. News reports suggest that in the UK over a million cheating partners and spouses could be affected.
The attack is reported to involve highly sensitive information, including details of users' sexual fantasies and explicit photographs, as well as name and address details, credit card numbers and purchase histories. A small percentage of site users' personal information is reported to have been posted online.
A group calling itself the Impact Team has claimed responsibility for the attack and alleges that information which users had instructed Ashley Madison to delete had not in fact been deleted despite users having paid a fee of $19. Commentators have suggested that the sensitive information may be sold on the 'dark web' and potentially used for cyber-extortion.
Users that believe they may be affected are unlikely to be sitting comfortably. The consequences of the attack on Ashley Madison are likely to be very painful if adulterers and would-be adulterers are exposed to their unsuspecting partners. Some may choose to confess to their partners before they are discovered. The hacking event is reported to affect an estimated 37 million people. The incident is likely to result in the breakdown of a significant number of marriages and partnerships.