The hack of Ashley Madison, a website designed to help users have an affair, by a group called “Impact Team” lead to the discovery of up to 15,000 accounts which registered using a US military email address, such as us.army.mil.
According to Military.com, US Defence Sectary Aston Carter has condemned those who signed up, claiming that “the services are looking into it, as well they should be.” The Pentagon prohibits any US military computer or email address from being used to view pornography or sign up to a service such as Ashley Madison.
Adultery in the US military is still a punishable offence with anything up to a dishonourable discharge being given to the offender. According to The Register, women often come off worse in disciplinary hearings regarding adultery, but the gender imbalance on Ashley Madison — up to 90% of users were male — means that it will predominantly be men who are investigated.
The hack of Ashley Madison has placed ordinary people in the limelight, opening them up to blackmail and serious emotional distress. A hack of this kind — one that places people’s private lives in danger — has never been seen before and the implications are just becoming known.