Ashley Maddison saga; from bad to worse

Good luck if you are one of those who registered for some ‘naughty on the side’ stuff, as opportunists cash in on the unfortunate ‘cheaters’ after users private details were hacked.

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The complete user database has been hijacked.

Revelations now coming to light show that opportunists are now moving in to blackmail those whose personal details were made public by hackers.

Hackers of the Ashley Madison website dumped 10 gigabytes of data on to the web recently, purporting to contain what they claim is the entire database of the website’s 30 million users.

Security experts feared this would inevitably lead to extortion attempts on outed subscribers of Ashley Madison, which markets itself as an extra-marital affair hook-up site. A few days later it has begun.

So just who is claiming the moral high ground here?

Toronto Police have warned against scammers who suggest they can delete the Ashley Madison information.

Reading the plight of one victim, blackmailers aren’t offering that, merely seeking to exploit shame.

Using facebook to find details and profile, is now threatening an expose`, via the users Facebook contact list, unless a payment is made – in the web currency, bitcoin.

“If you would like to prevent me from sharing this dirt with all of your known friends and family (and perhaps even your work too?) then you need to send exactly 1.05 bitcoins to the following BTC address…” the email says, sent to the address registered privately with the site.

“If the Bitcoin is not paid within 3 days of 23 August 2015 then my system will automatically message all your friends and family,” it states. “The bitcoin address is unique to YOU.”

On current exchange, 1.05 bitcoin is about $A312.00.

After being completely compromised with the Ashley Maddison site who would believe a blackmailer would use this just once? Is it morally correct to come clean, let alone cheaper, or is it?

We are already hearing reports of suicides over this saga. If one is to take their life over it then we cannot dismiss how serious the breach is.

Doubtless there are lessons here about what is posted online, even behind privacy walls. Some will also mutter about the choices people make in their personal lives.

But high moral ground? Maybe not.


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