Thursday, August 20, 2015
Should one fret over the leaked Ashley Madison data?
Several news sites have reported that 15 GB of identity data stolen last month from AshleyMadison.com online has been made available on the darknet. Three sites have since sprung up with allows interested parties to query the site to ascertain the identity of Ashley Madison users. AshleyMadison.com allowed married people to have short extramarital affairs. While the morality of the services provided may be questionable, and is perhaps best left to judgment of individuals, there is a serious risk of reputation damage if the data is fake.There are several reasons why it may be. Firstly this is not the first leak to appear online; there have been several in the span of the last month. Then, there is the question of the validity of the email address and other details which were never verified. There is always a probability that a prominent person or an associate’s identity was used to create a profile. From one analysis, it seems that 90% of the users were male and most of the female profiles were fake. If this is true than users subscribed but may not have been able to use the site. Many users may have subscribed due to curiosity or for fun. Some articles seem to suggest that once subscribed removing a personal profile from the site was not easy. Finally, there is a strong suspicion that some of this data may have been amalgamated from other breaches.
On the flip side there seems to be several reports of individuals claiming to verify that they were users of the site and confirming their email ids in the released data.Whatever, may be the truth, I would like cybercitizens to know that though it seems to be a sordid affair not to disrupt your personal lives purely by data that cannot be verified put out on the net.