Adulterers and cheaters may have yet another reason to be nervous. An adultery website, Ashley Madison, confirmed it was the victim of a “criminal intrusion,” into its computer systems. This breach could potentially expose the extremely private details of as many as 37 million members. Avid Life Media, the company who owns Ashley Madison—as well as several other similar sites—could have client information exposed as a result of the breach. A statement on the website of Avid Life Media says the company has the confidentiality of customer information uppermost in their mind, and have “stringent security measures” in place. Considering the current circumstances, this seems less than likely.
Who Hacked Ashley Madison?
The hacker or hackers go by the alias Impact Team, and have already published a tiny amount of user account data from the Ashely Madison website. It is assumed the hackers will continue to publish more data each day. Impact Team has instructed Avid Life Media to remove Ashley Madison and other similar sites permanently or all customer records—including profiles which may contain secret sexual fantasies, names and addresses and credit card records—will be released.
Impact Team Hack
It appears that the Impact Team hack was the result of a disagreement regarding Avid Life’s business practices, in particular a “full delete” feature which allows regretful cheaters to remove their information from the site (for a fee). Avid Life took in a whopping $1.7 million in fees for these deletes, however Impact Team says the details of the cheating person are not removed as promised. The advertising slogan of Ashley Madison is “Life is short. Have an affair.” The Impact Team hackers noted in their correspondence they had no sympathy for the “cheating dirt bags,” on the site, but did have a problem with Avid Life’s business practices.
In March, a similar hack exposed sexual preferences and secrets on dating site Adult FriendFinder. It was estimated that more than 3.5 million people were affected by that hack. Avid Life Media has a team of forensic experts and security professionals who join law enforcement in investigating the current incident.
When Computer Forensic Services are Necessary in the Legal Realm
In our electronic lives, the significance of electronic discovery during a legal matter cannot be overstated. A simple e-mail, typed in the heat of the moment, has been known to deal a devastating blow in many courtroom battles. Despite this, many find the field of computer forensics a total mystery. Computer forensics involves the investigation and extraction of data from computers, phones, or other electronic devices. Computer forensic specialists often find themselves attempting to resurrect lost evidence with little real knowledge of what they are looking for—which is what makes the field so specialized, and so necessary.
The Wide Range of Electronic Discovery
Electronic discovery can include current computer files which are easily accessible to the average computer user, but more often involves large volumes of crucial evidence which exists in hidden areas such as the computer’s hard drive or a flash drive. This hidden data—known as ambient data—can consist of deleted e-mails, hidden files which detail the Internet history of the computer, deleted directory structures and backup copies of word processing files.
At Forensicon, we have the technology and the experience to assist your company or firm with all digital and electronic security breaches. With over a decade of experience tracking rogue hackers, we can help your company after a hacker has compromised your data or breached your security. More importantly, we can help prevent the attack from even beginning. To learn more about how our computer forensic specialists can assist your firm, call us at 1-888-427-5667 or visit us on the web at www.forensicon.com.