Hackers have released what appear to be sensitive and confidential details of 33m user accounts on the infidelity site Ashley Madison, including names, addresses, emails and information about their sexual preferences. The data from the website, whose tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair”, was released by hackers from the Impact Team cybergroup, and took the form of a 10GB database on the “dark web” that could be accessed through a specialised web browser called Tor.
One coder then created a site for internet users where it was possible to enter a specific email address to see if that matched a customer record, potentially allowing spouses to check whether their partners had an account on the controversial site.Accounts appear to come from all around the world, including 1.2m in the UK, with email addresses from the government, the military, and large companies, although some of the emails used may be faked because Ashley Madison did not verify customer email addresses.
More than 100 user accounts were registered with Ministry of Defence email addresses, and another 100-plus accounts were registered with emails ending in gov.uk, the general government domain, the Guardian can confirm.