LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — In sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer … and until one of us gets caught cheating.
Hackers are vowing (choice of word intended) to expose thousands of people who signed up for the popular site “Ashley Madison.”
For the uninitiated, “Ashley” discreetly hooks up married folks who are dissatisfied in their marriages.
Their site’s trademarked motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
CBS2’s Kristine Lazar says a leak of the names on the site could lead to a lot of unwarranted repercussions.
A data dump of personal information of Ashley Madison’s 36 million users was reported Tuesday.
There has been no official confirmation from the company that the date breach is legit, but security experts say it looks very real.
“Here’s the dangerous part,” said Ian Sherr, executive editor of CNET “we don’t know how much of it is true. We could find a name in there we know, or a celebrity’s name, we don’t know we don’t know if the hackers inserted those names into that list.”
For now, the list is only printed on the dark web, but security officials don’t think it will be long before the lists makes it to mainstream and easily-accessible websites.
“Same thing happened to Sony when they had all these emails leaked in December and November,” said Sherr.
One blogger said the majority of names on the hacked list are male.
“People cheat for numerous reasons,” says Dr. Karen Stewart, “We don’t really know why everybody cheats. But if you’re going to a site like Ashley Madison, you clearly want a sexual encounter. This is not to make friends. This is not to find someone to have coffee with. You wanna have sex.”
Stewart does not suggest people go in search of their partner’s name on the leaked documents.
“I would recommend asking your partner, if you think they’re cheating,” Stewart says, “before doing your own detective work. Detective work can always, almost always become a mess. You never really know what’s going on.”
The hack suggests to the tech experts that you have to be careful who you share your information with.
“If you’re going to work with a company that is skating on the lines of what we’re comfortable with as a culture, maybe you’re going to end up getting hurt in the end by it all,” said Sherr.
For $19, Ashley Madison offered customers the chance to have their information deleted after a time. Lazar reported, “it doesn’t appear that service worked.”
For their part, Ashley Madison says it is investigating the leak.
One of the very first names publicly identified as a site member is Josh Duggar whose reality show “19 Kids and Counting” was already yanked off of TLC when revelations came to light that Duggar sexually abused his sisters and another young woman when he was a teen.
The site Gawker reports that someone using Duggar’s name and credit card paid nearly $1,000 to Ashley Madison and opened up two accounts.
There has been no comment from the Duggar family or Ashley Madison executives.