Big Hacking Bust: 15,000 Government Emails Revealed From Adultery Dating Website
In a case of major modern day blackmail on a digital level, a hacking group has finally made good on their treat to reveal the member profiles of millions of users of an adultery membership website, Ashley Madison, and in those files are the email addresses of reportedly 15,000 US government personnel, including members of the White House and Homeland Security.
The hackers, known as “Impact Team” had been holding the hacked data for a month in hopes of having the website shut down. When the site wasn’t shut down, they made good their threat and released their tsunami of files, 37 million people’s profiles left out in the open for the public to see. Some of the accounts might be faked as may some of the email addresses, but the GPS data appears to be intact. Detailed emails aren’t part of this package, but it may well be that the hackers are holding onto even more data they’ve not announced as yet.
The owner of the Ashley Madison site are Avid Life Media. Their motto is “Life is short. Have an affair.”. The hackers are obviously against either the site or the content. If they’re against the site, it could be that they’re competitors hoping to derail this company to grab its business and members, if it’s the content of the site, why go after adulterers or dating people when there are far more sinister forces on the web that deserve a good beat down? The true motives are probably not apparent yet, but they will be.
If it is true that government officials, top brass, lawmakers were using government servers for such activities, heas should roll day and night. It is unconscionable that people on the taxpayer payroll would use government assets for personal use, much less for actions considered morally reprehensible. Exploiters will be scouring through this data to pinpoint who did what and since blackmail/extortion is one of the most powerful tools in the world today for exploiting others, this should be a feeding frenzy for those who do. In addition, spouses, family members of those whose emails and profiles appear, will have some explaining to do and this could turn into a massive avalanche of divorces, lawsuits, and more.
Not only were US government personnel listed, but top officials from many of the world’s most prestigious institutions were listed too, including the Vatican, United Nations, and various other governments.
If such hacking continues, there will be no one safe and a compromise of the use of the internet may be so great as to invalidate its use. This might call for a rehaul of the foundations of the web, which many have stated is long overdue.