Ashley Madison Hack

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In July 2015, there was unauthorized access to personal information of Ashley Madison’s users by hackers who are suspected to be Hacktivism group, initiated by the Impact Team hacking group. AshleyMadison.com is a website that caters to married persons who are seeking for a person to cheat on their spouses. Other websites owned by Ashley Madison also got accessed by the hackers that include Cougar Life and Established Men.  Cougar Life is geared toward older women seeking young men as partners and Established Men is a website in which older men seek younger women. The impact team that was responsible for the hack perpetrated the crime for purposes of damaging the company and its reputation together with its users. The public together with the users of the sites were affected by the hack as personally identifiable information was stolen. The information included usernames, the first and last names of users, passwords for about 33 million accounts, and 33 million email address including about 15, 000 email addresses hosted by the American government. The hackers also obtained employee emails and other documents from the internal network. With this information, the perpetrators of the criminal activity would target individuals who range from the elite people in the society to the average citizens. The breach also resulted in serious reputational and financial losses and also faced a lawsuit suit filed by the users whose information got compromised. Ashley Madison did not shut down the website as demanded by the hackers but coordinated with investigators to find the hackers. Some of the techniques that could have got employed by Ashley Madison on their site and information systems to prevent the hack include intrusion detection systems as well as use strong of passwords on the accounts. The intrusion detection system would detect any unauthorized access to the networks.



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