Ashley Madison was launched in 2001 and has grown to become the 18th most visited website in the “dating” space with 40 million members in 50 countries. The website gets a very impressive 4.5 million hits daily. According to the website, Ashley Madison is “the world’s leading married dating service for discrete encounters”. In layman’s terms, it’s an online platform that connects people in relationships that want to cheat. Their tagline is: “Life is short. Have an affair”. The parent company is Avid Life Media based in Toronto.
July 15th, a group calling themselves the “Impact Team” contacted Avid Life Media to inform the company that they were in possession of all the customer data, including email addresses, names, home addresses, sexual fantasies, nude pictures and credit card information—and threatened to post all the data online if Ashley Madison was not permanently closed. By July 22, the first names of customers were released and by August 18 the rest. The hackers claim they will release pictures and messages between members very soon. To check if your significant other was looking to see if the grass is greener on the other side go here.
Will Ashley Madison survive?
Not a chance.
New membership signups will grind to a halt. Current members will not revisit for fear of further exposure. No action, no traction.
Avid Life Media will face on onslaught of lawsuits. The first class action lawsuit was just filed a few days ago claiming $750 Million in damages.
Sadly, three suicides have been reported tied to the data dump. More lawsuits.
Noel Biderman, President and CEO of Avid Life Media will weigh the pros and cons of fighting lawsuits and trying to rebuild the trust and credibility (kind of ironic) of Ashley Madison. He will conclude soon, that there is unequivocally no upside.
The site will go dark soon.
A couple of notes:
. Avid Life Media had planned to float its shares later this year on the LSE raising $200 million. Kiss that liquidity event goodbye.
. I can’t stress enough to take care great care of your personal information and how you store it. I’ve been using Dashlane as my password manager for 4 years. It’s free.
. Cyber warfare is a real and present danger. I recommend you read “There will be Cyberwar“ by Richard Stiennon.
. Future dating platforms should/will look to use blockchain technology to insure data security.
A final thought:
. Cheating is a choice, not a mistake.