It has been an interesting journey watching the Ashley Madison hacking scandal unfold..
I mean who would have known the famed Alcapone could be cheating from the grave.
Yet here we are, hearing about Bill Clinton up to his old shenanigans and Taylor Swift swinging from the balcony behind her famous boyfriend David Guetta’s back.
And also a pack of lies.
Many of the account holders registered on the Canadian-based site have used celebrity names, one even used Hitler to hide their infidelity.
We have seen public confessions from celebrities, government officials hiding behind their briefcases and a slimy Ashley Madison CEO claiming he is a victim and should be compensated.
It’s all a bit bizarre, yet we are drawn to the scandal like chocolate sprinkles on icing. We love a good cheating story and hearing about the chaos this team of hackers have created is downright entertaining.
But for those who haven’t set up their Google alerts to anything Ashley Maddison related, here is a little insight…
Who is Ashley Madison?
Well, it’s just two popular girls names put together to create a multi-million dollar cheating site for the unfaithful losers. However, according to reports, the site touted as the “premier cheating site for married people seeking partners for infidelity”, was relatively unknown until the hack.
Owned by Avid Life Media, Ashley Maddison has been online since 2001 and claims to have about 40 million users. Now, thanks to more than 30 gigabytes of customer and company data, it has been propelled into the spotlight.
Who has been affected?
Millions of husbands and wives have been outed for their infidelity, as well as celebrities and even US government officials.
So far, the biggest news to come out of the hack is that Josh Duggar had paid accounts on the service. You can be sure the Internet is not going to let him forget about it anytime soon!
However, out of those exposed, one woman made international headlines when she found out on live radio that her spouse had an account. Tragically, it has been reported that two people have taken their own lives since the hack.
So, how did the site make money in the first place?
Obviously, from people who wanted to cheat on their partner. But to break it down:
Ashley Madison reportedly made $115 million last year. Although anyone could register on the site for free, users who wanted to seek partners for hook-ups and read and send messages had to pay a fee, starting at $49.
For that minimum price, you got 100 credits, which were redeemed each time you read a message, at five credits per message, or for other activities. For 30 credits, you got a 30-minute chat session with potential sex partners.
Premium customers who paid $250 also reportedly got a money-back “affair guarantee”if they didn’t have an affair within three months, then they were promised their money back.
How Did the Hackers Get In?
An investigation into how Ashley Madison was hacked is underway, but it has been noted, “there is no indication of any software vulnerability being exploited during this incident.”
The hackers from Impact Team told Motherboard, “We worked hard to make fully undetectable attack, then got in and found nothing to bypass….Nobody was watching. No security. Only thing was segmented network. You could use Pass1234 from the internet to VPN to root on all servers.”
In an initial interview after the breach was first reported in July, Avid Life Media CEO Noel Biderman suggested the perpetrator may have been a former contractor or someone else who had legitimate access to the company’s networks at one time.
So how are we meant to feel about all this?
If these hacks tell us anything, it’s that a lot of people would hate for strangers to rifle through their private emails, yet can’t help but rifle when someone else’s digital artifacts are exposed.
Some of these people could have been in open relationships with their partners or even swingers. They could have been professional people by day and by night turned into some freakish sex fiend. Or, they could just being lying, cheating bastards that deserve to have their name published for the world to see.
Whatever you think about the actions of those affected by the hack, there is one thing for sure, it’s a serious invasion of privacy and something we should pay more attention to in our own lives. The internet is a fickle place, after all.