Tracking the Reputation Fallout from the Ashley Madison Hack

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ashley madison reputation managementAshley Madison was hacked and almost 10 gigs of personal information were dumped onto a website accessible only through onion links on the Tor Web browser. The hackers, who call themselves “The Impact Team”, had threatened to release this information if the site did not close down. As Ashley Madison failed to comply, hackers appear to have made good on that threat.

Unfortunately, this has major repercussions for those involved. According to Wired, nearly 15,000 email addresses listed in the hack belong to someone with a .gov or .mil Web address, meaning government employees may face major consequences up to and including termination of their jobs.

In addition, Ashley Madison’s subscription process required no verification of email, so there are countless “members” with credentials on the website that may or may not have been users. Innocent individuals who made enemies of the wrong people face dire consequences for their marriages.

The website, which offers an “affair guarantee package”, did use encryption to protect user data. Unfortunately, it seems the hackers were more determined and managed to crack the encryption anyway.

This personal information is also associated with what members were looking for, including graphic details of fantasy sexual encounters. As one might imagine, this information would be a huge embarrassment for anyone caught being a member, active user or not, of Ashley Madison.

If your information was leaked, your best hope of defending against potential firestorms is to be proactive in managing your reputation. Immediately search for your name in Google and other major search engines and make note of any websites that might be hosting your name or your information. Be aware that a small amount of credit card numbers was leaked along with other identifiable information. If you are worried about your name or address being circulated freely on the Web, it’s best to contact a reputation management company equipped to deal with these kinds of leaks.

For more information, and to read a message from the hackers, click here.  If you are looking to get your data removed from Ashley Madison click here.