In July a hacking group calling itself “The Impact Team” hacked into the notorious extramarital dating website AM and threatened to expose the identities of 37.5 million account holders. The controversial on-line dating agency carries the tagline: “Life Is Short. Have An Affair”.
Users addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, ethnicities, genders, names, passwords, payment histories, phone numbers, security questions, sexual preferences, usernames and website activity have been compromised, but not all details yet published. Over the last week or so the hackers have lived up to their threats and have begun to release personal details of account holders such as e-mail addresses and telephone records.
The extent of this is indeed global as the names of email addresses are listed in 48 countries. Globally São Paulo in Brazil topped the list with 374,542 accounts, closely followed by 268,171 in New York.
According to a Spanish IT company, who has produced a global map of the location of Ashley Madison account holders, in Portugal, 85% of users are men.
The north of the country is highest with Porto having 7399 users. In Braga, there are 1421 users and in Aveiro 1399 users. Further south in Caldas da Rainha 217 are recorded. In Greater Lisbon, Amadora leads with 1743 records followed by Sintra and Cascais 1045 and 1000 respectively.
In the Algarve there are some 3500 Ashley Madison users, the main distribution shown in the following table table.
Faro 1179 Algoz 62
Albufeira 545 Tavira 60
Loule 359 Almancil 46
Quarteira 207 Sao Bras 31
Olhao 194 Vila do Bispo 25
Lagos 193 Aljezur 25
Boliqueime 128 Monchique 24
Silves 107 Messines 20
Note: in the case of Boliqueime – this includes Picota which was mentioned.
The following villages were added on 28th August. Note some of these are small and it is likely therefore that the locations given are those closest to the locations of account holders not just in the villages/towns themselves:
Vila Nova de Cacela 52
Armacao de Pera 15
Some computer security analysts have now warned that no matter how curious you are, there is a good reason not to try and download the leaked Ashley Madison database of account holders, as it is potentially dangerous to do so.
The actual 9.7 gigabytes of data posted by the hackers, was posted on the Dark Web in two chunks.
But getting to them isn’t easy for the non-technical. The Dark Web is a series of networks accessible only by running specific software and, in some cases, with specific authorization. The Dark Web is often used by criminals.
Running this software to download the databases could expose your computer to spyware, viruses and theft of your personal information.
There are some sites that have been set up who claim that by entering your email address through their site you can check for the details of AM account holders, whose details may have been compromised. Although it may be tempting to do so, this could result in serious consequences such as those outlined above
A full feature on this subject will appear on this website and in the Algarve Resident on 3rd September.
Ashley Madison Boss resigns – 28th August
Canadian entrepreneur Noel Biderman, the self-proclaimed “King of Infidelity”, has stepped down as chief executive of Avid Life Media – the website’s parent company. The company will be run by the current senior management team until a new chief executive is appointed.
In a statement, the firm said: “This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees. We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base.
“We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals. We will continue to provide access to our unique platforms for our worldwide members.“We are actively cooperating with international law enforcement in an effort to bring those responsible for the theft of proprietary member and business information to justice.”
His sudden departure comes after hackers leaked the names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card details of users on the dark web.
There is an important lesson to be learned from this “affair” and that is there is no such thing as online privacy. When you put something on line assume that it will become public!