For those of you who don’t know: Ashley Madison is a for-profit website that was explicitly set up to help people commit adultery. It got hacked. Hoo, boy, but it got hacked. The hackers, remarkably, then demanded that Ashley Madison shut itself down – or else the hackers would release the information into the wild. Apparently Ashley Madison did not comply.
A 10-gigabyte file purportedly containing e-mails, member profiles, credit-card transactions and other sensitive Ashley Madison information became available as a BitTorrent download in the past few hours. Ars downloaded the massive file and it appeared to contain a trove of details taken from a clandestine dating site, but so far there is nothing definitively linking it to Ashley Madison. User data included e-mail addresses, profile descriptions, addresses provided by users, weight, and height. A separate file containing credit card transaction data didn’t include full payment card numbers or billing addresses.
Now, let me establish something for the record. I do not approve of criminal computer hacking. I had nothing to do with this hack. I do not know anybody involved with this hack, and I certainly would not shelter somebody that I knew was involved in this hack. If I had known that such a hack was planned, I would have warned the authorities; and certainly the hackers should be tracked down and tried for their activities. But do I feel bad about what happened to all of those adulterers? …Well. Only in so far as how said adulterers’ actions might now have unfortunate repercussions towards all of their families, and loved ones*.
…Or their constituents.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: But, hey, maybe our professional (and bipartisan) political class – both elected and unelected – is made up of people who are either too moral to commit adultery, or too smart to get caught out on something trivial, like using a traceable credit card. So there won’t be any political fallout. That’s possible, right?
*I also will feel bad about anybody innocent who got identity-thefted into this one.