The hackers who claimed to have stolen every bit of data from Ashley Madison, a dating website intended for adulterers, have made good on their promise to release the full database if the site didn’t shut down.
Identifying themselves as Impact Team, the hackers have made available a frighteningly vast amount of data on Ashley Madison’s users and inner workings. Impact Team produced the information Tuesday, August 18, through the Tor network, a sort of parallel internet or “dark web” that keeps all traffic data anonymous.
Impact Team’s announcement.
Quartz downloaded the files. We won’t reveal any identifiable information but were able to confirm aspects of the data.
Despite some initial skepticism about the veracity of the leak, researchers are now starting to agree that it is real. Several Ashley Madison users have vouched for the last four digits of their credit cards as listed in the leaked database. One researcher even claims to have found that a listed credit card is “still valid” and in “daily use.”
The breach contains data on 32 million Ashley Madison users, including names, usernames, addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates. The data also include users’ descriptions of themselves, often revealing their intentions in using the site—things like “I May Be Spoken 4 But I Speak 4 Myself” and “Let’s start as friends…”
It also reveals several million individual credit card transactions that went to Ashley Madison. Each of these indicates the name of the person involved, their address, the last four digits of their credit card number, and the…