Hackers who claimed to have stolen data from Ashley Madison, the extra-marital affairs dating website, on Tuesday delivered on their promise to release onto the Internet what they'd taken, dumping nearly 10 gigabytes of user data containing email addresses, credit card and payment information, and hashed (protected) passwords.
Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison, last month admitted that it'd been hacked. That was followed soon thereafter by a post from a group calling itself the the Impact Team, which claimed responsibility for the security breach and threatened to dump their data if Ashley Madison and sister site Established Men were not taken down. It appears that was not an empty threat.
"Find someone you know in here?" a note by the group reads, according to Wired. "Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters."
The data was posted on the dark web and requires a Tor browser to access. Though passwords are protected under a so-called hash, it is possible for hackers to eventually break through that safeguard, according to a security expert who spoke with Wired.
Already, some tech savvy users have begun having fun with the data trove. At least one user went looking for United Kingdom government officials. Among the findings was an email address that appears to belong to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. However, Ashley Madison does not require users verify their addresses, so conceivably, anyone can sign anyone else up.