Ashley Madison leaks continue to grow, and so do the lawsuits
In July, hackers started releasing customers’ personal data from the online dating site for people looking for an affair, Ashley Madison. Now, the data leak seems to have gotten much worse.
Last week, hackers leaked 20 gigabytes of data taken from the dating site, which was double the amount of information exposed only days earlier. The stolen data mostly consists of customer names and transactions, but the most recent leak exposed files that many believe to be emails belonging to the website’s top executives.
Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media, was also targeted by the hackers in Thursday’s file leak after CEO Noel Biderman initially announced that the hack was a hoax. There are files that have Biderman’s name on them, but little is known about what information they hold. A signed message from a hacker was placed with the newest leak saying: “Hey Noel, you can admit it’s real now.”
Biderman’s misinformation about the hack isn’t the only public relations problem facing the company; they’re also looking at a $578 million class-action lawsuit, along with the other companies that run the website. Many couples are now getting a divorce after finding their husband or wife’s name among the leaked accounts. The site boasts of its high number of “anonymous members,” but after 39 million users had their information leaked, many are seeking compensation.The Canadian law firms Charney Lawyers and Sutts, Strosberg LLP filed the suit immediately after the most recent leak.
“They are outraged that AshleyMadison.com failed to protect its users’ information. In many cases, the users paid an additional fee to remove all of their user data, only to discover that the information was left intact and exposed,” said the law firms in a joint statement.
Many people have criticized the victims of the leak, but some of the users never actually cheated on their spouse. Those that made an account while they were single could be facing a strained marriage now that their past account information is open to the world.
Can the Ashley Madison site survive the PR storm? What can they do to turn their company around? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon!