Ashley Madison’s massive security leak has spurred a number of lawsuits, including a proposed class actionin Texas claiming the adultery site was warned of the impending breach but failed to alert customers.
The lawsuit filed by an unnamed Austin, Texas man, which seeks class action status, claims Ashley Madison failed to heed its own employees’ warnings about the vulnerability of customers’ data. It also could have stopped the breach but didn’t, according to the lawsuit filed against Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison.
That suit claims that an unnamed employee at Ashley Madison listed for the site “technical issues that could lead to a data breach occurring, as well the legal problems that may come with that.”
In an internal company document called “Areas of concern — customer data.docx,” the lawsuit claims one employee noted that user data was exposed to phishing or SQL injection — two common methods used to steal user data.
“Another employee worried about remote code execution — when an attacker can run code on a victims computer over the internet — and yet another employee pointed to employees being infected with malware, ‘allowing hackers access to our user data,'” the suit noted.
According to the lawsuit, Avid Life Media didn’t abide by the security and payment processing industry’s standards for holding user data.
In 2012, Ashley Madison’s CTO, Raja Bhatia, admitted in an internal email that the site had security risks.
“There will be an eventual security crisis amongst one of your properties and the media will leap on it as they always do,” he reportedly wrote in an email, which was fittingly revealed as part of the hack.
The hacker or hackers — known only as The Impact Team — said they stole data from the website’s servers after learning that their pay-to-delete function doesn’t actually delete their data from the site.
In two data dumps totaling about 40 gigabytes of data, the hack has exposed the personal information of 32 million Ashley Madison users. More data dumps may be forthcoming, as The Impact Team says it has more information that it hasn’t released yet.
We reached out to Ashley Madison and will update this post with any comment we receive.