Daily Management Review

Infidelity Website Hacked, Names of Suspected Infidels Exposed, Users Traumatised


Infidelity Website Hacked, Names of Suspected Infidels Exposed, Users Traumatised
Most people would conceal their private information or try and protect their private information when they subscribe or sign up for an infidelity site. And when the personal information stored in such a site gets hacked, love lives and reputations can come to be at risk.

This is exactly how customers of infidelity website Ashley Madison felt when on Tuesday it was revealed that there had been a breach f security at the website and sensitive private information about customers could have been compromised.

While angering and tormenting the users of the website, the incident has also the potential to likely rattle the users' attitude towards the Internet and toward such websites.

It has been reported that on Tuesday, hackers decamped with a huge amount of data that included millions of email addresses of U.S. government officials, UK civil servants and high-level executives at European and North America corporations. This is the latest cyber attack that has raised legitimate concerns about internet security and data protection.

Maximum damage was arguably inflicted on the members of a marital cheating website when the identities of the members were revealed that left the members suffering public embarrassment and potentially hurting relationships. This act by the hackers however had no form of financial gains and it is viewed as an attempt by the hackers to establish their presence.

"If your name's been published, you're going to live in fear. There's nothing you can do once it's been published," said Rik Turner, senior analyst of infrastructure solutions at consultancy firm Ovum.

Nude photos, sexual fantasies, real names and credit card information for as many as 37 million customers worldwide of Ashley Madison were threatened to be released by hackers last month. The targeted website carries the slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair."

The incident has created a flutter on social media. The handle “hack” is he forth placed handle on Twitter this Tuesday and Wednesday. While most of the tweets with this handle expressed horror that people's identities were exposed, many also voiced their surprise at how people, using the infidelity website, had apparently used their work emails to sign up to the site.

However the website said that since the users don't have to verify their email when they sign up, it was not clear how many of the clients who were reportedly exposed, were legitimate users.

This fact was reiterated by the claims of a British parliamentarian, whose email address and name was included on the exposed list, claimed that the mail ID had been stolen and had been used without knowledge of the parliamentarian. This statement gave some credence to the claims and arguments that inclusion in the exposed list does not necessarily implicate individuals as being users or being infidel.

Such arguments however do not diminish the fact that the data had been hacked and this intrusion in privacy has potentially given internet users a jolt and has forced them to question the aspect of data security that they have stored on the internet.

While Avid Life Media, the parent company for Ashley Madison, believes that this hacking was an inside job, it is debatable however about how the company  would conduct its business even as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Canadian police investigate the matter. There are also speculations making the social media rounds about whether more data and names and e-mails would be exposed.

(Source: www.reuters.com)