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Ashley Madison Hack Aftermath Includes Spam, Blackmail, and a Class Action Lawsuit

2015-08-24 06:00

The Ashley Madison hack that took place last month, followed by the exposure of user data during the past week, is now rearing its ugly head, with various individuals and companies trying to take advantage of the users who had their personal life exposed online.

The Impact Team, the group that hacked the adult dating site, only planned to release personal user details if the Ashley Madison (AM) site wasn't shut down.

While this obviously didn't happen, the hackers were kind enough to leave nude photos out of the leak, proving that they had more good sense than the AM admins, who stored almost everything on their users, even credit card transaction details, despite advertising complete anonymity for its members.

Now, with around 30GB of personal user data and internal company emails available online, the true aftermath of the AM leak is starting to show.

We aren't talking about the media scrutiny the company is facing, but the abuses the Ashley Madison userbase is starting to be subjected to.

The blackmail...

The first one, as reported by Rick Romero, the Information Technology Manager at VF IT Services, for Brian Krebs' security blog, is blackmailing attempts.

According to Mr. Romero, who works for an US-based email provider, his company's spam filters have detected blackmailing campaigns that specifically target users who had their emails exposed in the Ashley Madison hack.

These emails require a payment of 1 Bitcoin from users who used personal data in registering AM accounts, otherwise the scammer will expose his findings to the person's "significant other."

Blackmail message received by Ashley Madison users
Blackmail message received by Ashley Madison users

The spam...

While this was to be expected from such a huge data leak, what was not was for a Web-based company to collect all the exposed data and make it searchable.

This is what Trustify did, allowing anyone to search and see if their personal details were exposed, or if the emails and names of their friends were included in the AM leak.

The problem with this is that Trustify collected all user search queries and then started sending out emails spam to all the users who have been searched on the site, urging them to contact a Trustify consultant to see what can be done to remove their personal details from the Internet. Like that could ever be done (please roll your eyes while reading this).

The class action lawsuit...

Things went a little farther in Canada, and as CTV News reports, two Canadian law firms have already set up a class action lawsuit against the two companies that run the Ashley Madison website, Avid Dating Life Inc. and Avid Life Media Inc..

The lawsuit asks for $760 million (Canadian dollars) / $575 million / €500 million in damages for Canadian users of ashleymadison.com, and it has one single plaintiff that is willing to come forward, until now.

The possible suicide...

Unfortunately, more sad news are coming out following the Ashley Madison hack.

San Antonio (California, USA) police are currently investigating the suicide of a city employee who had his email leaked in the recent AM hack, as San Antonio Current is reporting.

No details have been released yet about the real cause of the suicide.

Source: WLoRXYtJXZ0ZWYts2YhhWLu92cpRWYt1SelxGazF2LzdXZu9SbvNmLhlGZlBHdm92cuM3dl52LvoDc0RHa/ca.ssr.dps

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