The Ashley Madison “Cheat Sheet” is creating mayhem at dinner tables across the globe, as the hackers (‘Impact Team’) expose government officials among others.
The data stolen from the infidelity site has around 10,000 email addresses belowing to US government workers who have the .gov address, as well as thousands with .co.uk, .com.au, .co.nz and other addresses, including government, education, political and health addresses.
In the US, addresses include the Department of Justice, law firms, schools and universities, the National Security Agency and other British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand government addresses.
In addition, organisations like Boeing, Sony, the United Nations, the Bank of America and banking and insurance companies in the US, Australia, the UK and New Zealand are disclosed on the cheat sheet list.
Up to 15,000 names among the raw data are listed from email addresses with the domain names .mil or .gov – the official addresses of U.S government and military employees.
The dump, which has yet to be verified, is illegal and raises a number of major privacy and intellectual property issues, but the 36 million email addresses, which include first and last names and the last four credit card digits, as well as other identifying data such as street addresses and phone numbers, is creating major issues for millions of Ashley Madison users.
The data is 10GB of compressed data, which is a huge dump that lead to Ashley Madison chief technology officer Raja Bhatia attempting to downplay its significance by saying there is no evidence that the ‘cheat sheet’ list is real.
However, the current indication from hacker Impact Team indicates that it probaby is and is accordingly a massive concern for millions, particularly those in sensitive government positions who have used government email addresses to register for the Ashley Madison site.
The data leak not only included user data but also carried with it Ashley Madison and its parent company Avid Life Media, which included Ashley Madison executives PayPal accounts, corporate passwords, company memos, bank account numbers, loan agreements and content relating to the company’s concerns about data leak and system integrity issues.
The comprehensive nature of the data released indicates that the cheat sheet list of names from the site is correct and that the full-on attack on Ashley Madison by Impact Team is akin to the Sony hack last year.
Only 2.3 million are considered ‘active’ users of Ashley Madison but the hack includes names and details of anyone who has ever registered – even if they didn’t use the services to have a full-blown affair or stop their affairs.
Ashley Madison admits it doesn’t verify email addresses so some are known fakes
Barack Obama, Tony Blair, NZ Prime Minister John Key and others are among the fake names and email addresses that have already been exposed. However, the sheer numbers of email addresses from work accounts means it’s highly probable some are legitimate.
The case has prompted many internet and security experts to remind employees about the dangers of using work addresses for private activities.
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