In July, the popular online cheating site Ashley Madison has been hacked and a big amount of data was stolen by hackers who posted part of this information online as proof of the attack.
The hackers affirmed they have completely compromised the Ashley Madison company accessing users’data, including financial records and other personal information.
It has been estimated that around 37 million users are in risk of seeing their affairs and fantasy exposed to the public if all the information owned by hackers is leaked.
Since the news of the data breach was disclosed, numerous fake dumps appeared online, but this time is circulating online a copy of the Ashley Madison database that seems to be genuine.
“Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data,” is the message left by the hackers, it also contains a link to a 10 gigabyte file distributed via torrent sites.
Avid Life Media that owns the Ashley Madison and Established Men web portals released a statement on Tuesday to inform its users that it is investigating on the genuinely of the disclosed data.
“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,” Avid Life Media wrote in its statement. “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.”
According to a group of experts that analyzed the dump of data the leaked files seem legit, it contains the following information:
The accounts’ passwords were stored in a secure way, anyway users urge to change them. The dump was made on July 11, 2015, this means that users that registered an account after this date are not at risk.
Robert Graham, CEO of Errata Security, who have analyzed the dump explained that Ashley Madison used bcrypt to hash the passwords.
“Almost all the records appear to be protected with bcrypt. This is a refreshing change. Most of the time when we see big sites hacked, the passwords are protected either poorly (with MD5) or not at all (in ‘clear text’, so that they can be immediately used to hack people). Hackers will be able to ‘crack’ many of these passwords when users chose weak ones, but users who chose strong passwords are safe,” Graham said.
The credit card transactions include names, addresses, email addresses, amounts paid and partial payment card numbers. According to the cyber security expert Christopher Davis, these leaked data related financial transactions of the company show that Ashley Madison made more than $600 million.
According to my math from the dump data Ashley Madison made 629,152,000 USD over that period.
— Christopher M Davis (@DavisSec) 19 Agosto 2015
Let me close with a curious data … the analysis of email addresses contained in the data dump also shows that some 15,000 are .mil. or .gov addresses.
(Security Affairs – Ashley Madison, data breach)