Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An affair to remember....

When I first heard about the hacking of the web site called Ashley Madison, I suddenly began to crave chocolate Zingers. But then I was reminded those Hostess treats were from a brand called Dolly Madison. No, Ashley Madison is a web site that allowed married people to sign up in an effort to meet others who are interested in a fling, affair, dalliance, etc. I'm happily married of course, so I had no reason to be at all aware of this site.

In the aftermath of the hacking, those responsible for this breach threatened to make public the names registered on the site. A month later, they followed through.

HACKERS WHO STOLE sensitive customer information from the cheating site appear to have made good on their threat to post the data online.

A data dump, 9.7 gigabytes in size, was posted on Tuesday to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser. The files appear to include account details and log-ins for some 32 million users of the social networking site, touted as the premier site for married individuals seeking partners for affairs. Seven years worth of credit card and other payment transaction details are also part of the dump, going back to 2008. The data, which amounts to millions of payment transactions, includes names, street address, email address and amount paid, but not credit card numbers; instead it includes four digits for each transaction that may be the last four digits of the credit card or simply a transaction ID unique to each charge. claimed to have nearly 40 million users at the time of the breach about a month ago, all apparently in the market for clandestine hookups.

“Ashley Madison is the most famous name in infidelity and married dating,” the site asserts on its homepage. “Have an Affair today on Ashley Madison. Thousands of cheating wives and cheating husbands signup everyday looking for an affair…. With Our affair guarantee package we guarantee you will find the perfect affair partner.”

As morally repugnant as I find this whole concept, I have to admit that I am sympathetic to those whose lives could be potentially ruined by this. The fact that one feels the need to stray from his/her wedding vows is sad enough. Again, my wife and I haven't had the easiest time of it in 15+ years of marriage, but we committed to never being afraid to talk about anything that may be troubling us within our union. But how is it that simple communication with their respective spouses isn't viable option for the millions who have patronized this web site? If there was a lack of communication in these marriages before, it's sure gonna get stirred up now.

I'm guessing that a fair amount of divorce lawyers downloaded this data.


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