I recently learned that Ashley Madison, the high-profile internet site catering to married people interested in having discrete affairs was hacked. For those not in the know, this site claims a hefty thirty-seven million members and sports the slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.” It also claims to safeguard their secrets.
And now it seems the group of hackers who go by name theImpact Team are demanding a total shutdown of Ashley Madison and its legion of adulterers, or else… Supposedly included in exposed information are email addresses, usernames, passwords, birth-dates and zip codes — not to mention sexual preferences and proclivities. Oh my… all those secrets. Imagine the inner turmoil, the gut-wrenching fear of those with so much to lose if their identities were outed — and wouldn’t there be one huge messy puddle all around the world, should those secrets be spilled?
This hack follows a similar event earlier this year when sexual tastes and preferences of over three million people were at risk after the dating site, Adult Friend Finder, was also hacked, and information leaked. And here you and I thought we had problems when our email address books are hacked and we get mail with weird links to click that we hustle off to spam.
Curious, I spent the morning reading a variety of views about the hacking. According to a piece by Joe Kovacs, published 7/22/15, on WND DIVERSIONS — an obviously open-minded site featuring a right-to-life message and a quote by Billy Graham — one unlucky Massachusetts man defied the thirty-seven million to one odds, and his name, profile ID, home address, email address, and list of preferred sexual fantasies were publicly identified in the hacker’s terrorist style manifesto, as a chilling example of their willingness to made good their threats Another person from Canada was named as well. One Catherine Cooper, who self-identified as a mom of two, expressed in her impassioned Daily Mail piece, on 7/21/15, that infidelity is inexcusable and Ashley Madison members, one and all, deserved to be exposed for the cheaters they are. Dawn Michel states in her 7/27/15 examiner.com piece that Ashley Madison is a site created to support bad behavior and instant gratification, and deserves what they get. Not to be outdone, Christian evangelist, Franklyn Graham posted a message from the bible stating, “be sure your sin will find you out.”
John McAfee, influential commentator on cyber-security issues, in a 7/23/15 piece in the International Business Times, proclaims the AM hack as the death knoll of secrets — focusing less on its sinfulness than on the weakness of its security system, he found the hacker’s date fascinating, revealing cheater by profession and sex. According to him, topping the male adultery list are doctors, police officers, lawyers, and real-estate agents, and topping the female list are teachers, soccer moms, nurses, and real-estate agents — and claims it should be no surprise that in the US, Washing DC tops the cheater list by percentage of population by a wide margin.
At this point I should reveal my own opinions about Ashley Madison, based on my taking advantage of their free female membership almost two years ago — with my husband’s full knowledge and agreement. My profile requests a dominant, kink-friendly, non-bisexual, friend-with-benefits, fifty-five and over with a pass from his wife. I was contacted by a surprising number of men in open relationship, as well as many claiming single status and seeking no-strings fun with a married woman and her spouse. I also received responses from twenty and thirty-somethings, many with cock shots included, even though my profile states that graphic photos will be instantly deleted — and men whose erotic interests were so different from mine, I wondered if they’d read my profile at all.
Over time, my AM experience yielded considerable back and forth email communication and photo exchanges with viable possibilities. This resulted in a handful of in-person meetings, and fewer still, encounters in-the-flesh. Willingness is one thing — but chemistry, as anyone in the dating world probably knows is damned hard to find. We did finally meet a hot man in a polygamous relationship, and in my age range who lived twenty minutes away. We met, we clicked, we shared dinner and fantasy a few times a month for over a year, until his move to another state. Six months later, this man appears to be the apex of what AM has to offer. I plan to retire my membership on its two-year anniversary late next month.
All in all I’d say there are a plethora of lonely people in this world, many of them married and not all of them hound-dogs, seeking no-strings affairs with willing partners for a variety of reasons, not all of them reprehensible. As Ashley Madison chief executive, Noel Biderman, stated, “Like us or not this is still a criminal act.”
you are such a sweetheart.
It is a shame so many must rely upon cheating to gain the fulfillment they need, but not all on AM are cheaters — you and I are a good examples of that. There are still career fields where the disclosure of infidelity is detrimental to that career, but that is no longer as true as it was in the 50’s and 60’s.
I think hackers like those who broke into the AM data base, then threaten to disclose the information they obtained are terrorist. Anyone who subscribes to a service like that provided by AM takes the risk of information disclosure. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive. There have been enough break-ins by now to make that evident. Service providers like AM do their best to protect the data maintained in their repositories, but some people have too much time on their hands, or some malicious intent. It is a shame they use their intellect in this manner, but it obviously happens.
So what can we do to reduce or eliminate the threat provided by hackers? I think human beings must learn to be tolerant of others and their proclivities. If there is no threat in the disclosure of information as maintained in the AM data base, then there is no benefit to the hackers.