As each new revelation from the Ashley Madison scandal shows men will risk their families for women who when you get down to the basics don’t actually exist. The evidence that the site was a swindle has been building ever since hackers downloaded its supposedly confidential data. First there was the gender imbalance. Ashley Madison – whose CEO Noel Biderman resigned last week – had 31 million men on its database but just 5.5 million women. As it takes two to tango there must have been plenty of empty space on the dance floor.
Then Canadian journalists remembered that in 2011 one Doriana Silva had sued Ashley Madison for $20m – claiming that her former employers had forced her to create so many fake profiles of sexy women they left her with a repetitive stress injury. This provoked a stand-off and she later dropped her case.
Finally Annalee Newitz of the Gizmodo news blog analysed the leaked files. She found profiles full of dead data whose sole purpose was to make men think that millions of women were active on the site when in fact only a few thousand appeared to be checking their messages to see who was inviting them to a night in a cheap hotel.
Ashley Madison created a sci-fi world she said ‘where every woman on Earth is dead and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly designed robots’.
Hackers have released what they claim to be the personal information, including names email addresses phone numbers and partial credit card numbers of 37 million users of the infidelity site Ashley Madison.
Ashley Madison condemned the attack but stopped short of verifying the information leaked online was genuine.
The data release will inevitably lead to anxious partners attempting to search for the names or email addresses of people they suspect may have used the site, whose tagline is ‘Life is short. Have an affair’.
The Guardian confirmed that the email address and details of a Guardian journalist who had used Ashley Madison as part of an investigation is in the database released on Tuesday night.
The hackers who called themselves Impact Team and stole the user database in an attack in July demanded that Ashley Madison and its sister site Established Men – both owned by Toronto-based Avid Life Media – be taken offline – threatening to release the personal information in 30 days if their conditions were not met.
‘Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data’ said Impact Team in a statement released with the Ashley Madison data.
(ed:..there are some 22,000 nz’ers names in that leaked data..)