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Ashley Madison Faces Class Action Lawsuits, Offers Reward For Evidence Leading to Impact Team Hackers

( [email protected] ) Aug 25, 2015 03:32 PM EDT
Avid Life Media is facing some serious class action lawsuits from both the private and federal level.  Avid Life Media is the parent company of Ashley Madison, a dating website set up for married people or those who are involved in a committed relationship, specifically so the user can seek out someone that he or she is not committed to. It should come as no surprise that Avid Life Media is offering a very large cash reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of The Impact team, the organization who claims responsibility for the hack of Ashley Madison, spilling the data of its 37 million subscribers online.  In addition to that controversy, there is also some leaked emails concerning Ashley Madison CEO, and how he has possibly hacked other dating websites.
Noel Biderman, Ashley Madison CEO, has had his emails hacked too. Twitter/Krebs On Security

Avid Life Media is facing some serious class action lawsuits from both the private and federal level.  Avid Life Media is the parent company of Ashley Madison, a dating website set up for married people or those who are involved in a committed relationship, specifically so the user can seek out someone that he or she is not committed to. It should come as no surprise that Avid Life Media is offering a very large cash reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of The Impact team, the organization who claims responsibility for the hack of Ashley Madison, spilling the data of its 37 million subscribers online.  In addition to that controversy, there is also some leaked emails concerning Ashley Madison CEO, and how he has possibly hacked other dating websites. 

According to Tech Crunch, police in Canada revealed at a news conference on Monday that Avid Life Media is offering a $500,000 reward to anyone providing information that leads to the identification and subsequent arrest of the massive hack that revealed personal information from the Ashley Madison website. 

Acting staff superintendent Bryce Evans of the Toronto Police stated that "you know The Impact Team has crossed the line".  He also added that "The social impact behind this leak, we're talking about families, we're talking about children, we're talking about wives, we're talking about their male partners. It's going to have impacts on their lives...This is affecting all of us."

NBC News reports that there are at least five lawsuits seeking class-action status that have been filed over the Ashley Madison hack, and North American court records reveal that these lawsuits are seeking more than a half-billion dollars.  As of Monday, four federal suits have been filed in the United States, two in California, one in Missouri, and one in Texas.  All of them allege a breach of contract, negligence, and violation of various state and privacy laws by Avid Life Media. 

The data obtained by the Impact Team has yet to be confirmed as authentic.  In addition to having all of the 37 million users getting their information available on the web, there has been another leak at Ashley Madison from the company's CEO that is just as controversial, according to Krebs on Security

The Impact Team released a 30 Gigabyte archive that it said were emails lifted from the Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman.  It reveals that a former company executive hacked another dating website, exfiltrating their entire user database.  Specifically, Raja Bhatia, the founding chief technology officer at Ashley Madison, sent a message to Biderman about a security hole discovered in nerve.com, an American online magazine dedicated to sexual topics, culture, and relationships. 

With an email, Bhatia told Biderman:  "They [nerve.com] did a very lousy job building their platform. I got their entire user base," as well as "Also, I can turn any non paying user into a paying user, vice versa, compose messages between users, check unread stats, etc."

It seems like that Ashley Madison hack is just really creating a lot of information that a lot of people just don't want to see.