Highly compromising data on millions of people was leaked online on Tuesday, following the hack of extra-marital affairs dating website Ashley Madison in July.
It includes everything from email addresses and financial information to sexual fantasies. In short, it’s a blackmailer’s paradise.
And according to one researcher, who goes by the Twitter handle t0x0pg, the dump contains more than 15,000 US military email addresses.
There are 6,788 us.army.mil addresses, for example, another 1,665 navy.mil ones, and 809 usmc.mil. Some of these may well be fake, and security researcher Graham Cluey points out that Ashley Madison doesn’t verify email addresses used to sign up (“so I could have created an account at Ashley Madison with the address of [email protected], but it wouldn’t have meant that Obama was a user of the site”).
Nonetheless, the sheer volume of military email address very strongly suggests that highly private information on many thousands of military personnel has been leaked online. Business Insider has not yet independently authenticated these findings.
Right now, we don’t have any real idea of who is behind the hack. The individual (or individuals) responsible refer to themselves as the “Impact Team.” They say they were motivated by the fact that Ashley Madison’s parent company Avid Life Media charges users to delete their information from the site.
Impact Team threatened to dump the full dataset on all Ashley Madison customers in July when the news of the hack first broke, and they now appear to have followed through on that promise. The data was accompanied by a statement saying that “Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and [partner site] Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data.”
It continues: “Keep in mind this site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles. See ashley madison fake profile lawsuit; 90-95% of actual users are male.Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters.
“Find yourself in here. It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you’ll get over it.”
In response to release, Avid Life Media said that “this event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities. The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world. We are continuing to fully cooperate with law enforcement to seek to hold the guilty parties accountable to the strictest measures of the law.”