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  • Online Cheating Site Ashley Madison Hacked

    By Brian Krebs

    Large caches of data stolen from online cheating site have been posted online by an individual or group that claims to have completely compromised the company's user databases, financial records and other proprietary information. The still-unfolding leak could be quite damaging to some 37 million users of the hookup service, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

    The data released by the hacker or hackers — which go by the name The Impact Team — includes sensitive internal data stolen from Avid Life Media (ALM), the Toronto-based firm that owns AshleyMadison as well as related hookup sites Cougar Life and Established Men.

    Reached by KrebsOnSecurity late Sunday evening, ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman confirmed the hack, and said the company was “working diligently and feverishly” to take down ALM’s intellectual property. Indeed, in the short span of 30 minutes between that brief interview and the publication of this story, several of the Impact Team’s Web links were no longer responding.

    “We’re not denying this happened,” Biderman said. “Like us or not, this is still a criminal act.”

    Besides snippets of account data apparently sampled at random from among some 40 million users across ALM’s trio of properties, the hackers leaked maps of internal company servers, employee network account information, company bank account data and salary information.

    The compromise comes less than two months after intruders stole and leaked online user data on millions of accounts from hookup site AdultFriendFinder.

    In a long manifesto posted alongside the stolen ALM data, The Impact Team said it decided to publish the information in response to alleged lies ALM told its customers about a service that allows members to completely erase their profile information for a $19 fee.

    According to the hackers, although the “full delete” feature that Ashley Madison advertises promises “removal of site usage history and personally identifiable information from the site,” users’ purchase details — including real name and address — aren’t actually scrubbed.

    “Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the hacking group wrote. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”

    Their demands continue:

    “Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. The other websites may stay online.”

    A snippet of the message left behind by the Impact Team.

    It’s unclear how much of the AshleyMadison user account data has been posted online. For now, it appears the hackers have published a relatively small percentage of AshleyMadison user account data and are planning to publish more for each day the company stays online.

    “Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion,” the hackers continued. “Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver. We’ve got the complete set of profiles in our DB dumps, and we’ll release them soon if Ashley Madison stays online. And with over 37 million members, mostly from the US and Canada, a significant percentage of the population is about to have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people.”

    ALM CEO Biderman declined to discuss specifics of the company’s investigation, which he characterized as ongoing and fast-moving. But he did suggest that the incident may have been the work of someone who at least at one time had legitimate, inside access to the company’s networks — perhaps a former employee or contractor.

    “We’re on the doorstep of [confirming] who we believe is the culprit, and unfortunately that may have triggered this mass publication,” Biderman said. “I’ve got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials. It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services.”

    As if to support this theory, the message left behind by the attackers gives something of a shout out to ALM’s director of security.

    “Our one apology is to Mark Steele (Director of Security),” the manifesto reads. “You did everything you could, but nothing you could have done could have stopped this.”

    Several of the leaked internal documents indicate ALM was hyper aware of the risks of a data breach. In a Microsoft Excel document that apparently served as a questionnaire for employees about challenges and risks facing the company, employees were asked “In what area would you hate to see something go wrong?”

    Trevor Stokes, ALM’s chief technology officer, put his worst fears on the table: “Security,” he wrote. “I would hate to see our systems hacked and/or the leak of personal information.”

    In the wake of the AdultFriendFinder breach, many wondered whether AshleyMadison would be next. As the Wall Street Journal noted in a May 2015 brief titled “Risky Business for,” the company had voiced plans for an initial public offering in London later this year with the hope of raising as much as $200 million.

    “Given the breach at AdultFriendFinder, investors will have to think of hack attacks as a risk factor,” the WSJ wrote. “And given its business’s reliance on confidentiality, prospective AshleyMadison investors should hope it has sufficiently, er, girded its loins.”
    The Hackmaster
    dlevere's blog

  • #2
    Yup, sounds like alot of married couples are gonna have a bad day. Websites like this shouldn't exist anyway.


    • #3
      Hacked data from Ashley Madison cheating site is posted

      By Greg Toppo

      Computer hackers who breached, a dating website that targets married people, are reportedly beginning to share the site's user data online.

      The hackers uploaded 9.7 gigabytes of data on Tuesday that appear to include member account details and log-ins for the social networking site, which exhorts prospective users, "Life is short. Have an affair."

      WIRED magazine reported on Tuesday that credit card and other payment information are also part of the data dump.'s owners claimed nearly 40 million users for the site and two related sites at the time of the breach last month.

      WIRED reported that the data released by hackers included names, addresses and phone numbers submitted by users, though it said a sampling of the data indicated that users "likely provided random numbers and addresses."

      The data also included descriptions of what members were seeking: "I'm looking for someone who isn't happy at home or just bored and looking for some excitement," one member wrote. "I love it when I'm called and told I have 15 minutes to get to someplace where I'll be greeted at the door with a surprise — maybe lingerie, nakedness."

      In a statement issued Tuesday, the site's owner, Avid Life Media, said its investigation into the breach is still ongoing and that it is "actively monitoring and investigating this situation to determine the validity of any information posted online." The company said it would "continue to devote significant resources to this effort."

      The statement continued: "This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities. The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society."

      The hackers, who call themselves the Impact Team, demanded that Avid Life Media take down the site as well as the companion site, which "promises to connect beautiful young women with rich sugar daddies."

      The hackers didn't target, a sister site that promises to connect older women with younger men.
      The Hackmaster
      dlevere's blog


      • #4
        I read somewhere else that 90-95 percent of the users are male and many of the womens profiles on it are bots. So likely the men on it tried to have a affair but couldn't.


        • #5
          Extortionists Target Ashley Madison Users

          By Brian Krebs

          People who cheat on their partners are always open to extortion by the parties involved. But when the personal details of millions of cheaters get posted online for anyone to download — as is the case with the recent hack of infidelity hookup site — random blackmailers are bound to pounce on the opportunity.

          An extortion email sent to an AshleyMadison user.

          According to security firms and to a review of several emails shared with this author, extortionists already see easy pickings in the leaked AshleyMadison user database.

          Earlier today I heard from Rick Romero, the information technology manager at VF IT Services, an email provider based in Milwaukee. Romero said he’s been building spam filters to block outgoing extortion attempts against others from rogue users of his email service. Here’s one that he blocked this morning (I added a link to the bitcoin address in the message, which shows nobody has paid into this particular wallet yet):

          Unfortunately, your data was leaked in the recent hacking of Ashley Madison and I now have your information.

          If you would like to prevent me from finding and sharing this information with your significant other send exactly 1.0000001 Bitcoins (approx. value $225 USD) to the following address:

          1B8eH7HR87vbVbMzX4gk9nYyus3KnXs4Ez link added

          Sending the wrong amount means I won’t know it’s you who paid.

          You have 7 days from receipt of this email to send the BTC [bitcoins]. If you need help locating a place to purchase BTC, you can start here...
          The individual who received that extortion attempt — an AshleyMadison user who agreed to speak about the attack on condition that only his first name be used — said he’s “loosely concerned” about future extortion attacks, but not especially this one in particular.

          “If I put myself in [the extortionist’s] shoes, the likelihood of them disclosing stuff doesn’t increase their chance of getting money,” said Mac. “I just not going to respond.”

          Mac says he’s more worried about targeted extortion attacks. A few years ago, he met a woman via AshleyMadison and connected both physically and emotionally with the woman, who is married and has children. A father of several children who’s been married for more than 10 years, Mac said his life would be “incredibly disrupted” if extortionists made good on their threats.

          Mac said he used a prepaid card to pay for his subscription at, but that the billing address for the prepaid ties back to his home address.

          “So they have my home billing address and first and last name, so it would be relatively easy for them to get my home records and figure out who I am,” Mac said. “I’ll accept the consequences if this does get disclosed, but obviously I’d rather not have that happen because my wife and I are both very happy in our marriage.”

          Unfortunately, the extortion attempts like the one against Mac are likely to increase in number, sophistication and targeting, says Tom Kellerman, chief cyber security officer at Trend Micro.

          Kellerman is convinced we’ll see criminals leveraging the AshleyMadison data to conduct spear-phishing attacks aimed at delivering malicious software such as ransomware, a different type of extortion threat that locks the victim’s most treasured files with a secret encryption key unless and until the victim pays a ransom (also in Bitcoins).

          “There is going to be a dramatic crime wave of these types of virtual shakedowns, and they’ll evolve into spear-phishing campaigns that leverage crypto malware,” Kellerman said. “The same criminals who enjoy deploying ransomware would love to use this data.”

          The leaked AshleyMadison data could also be useful for extorting U.S. military personnel and potentially stealing U.S. government secrets, experts fear. Some 15,000 email addresses ending in dot-mil (the top-level domain for the U.S. military) were included in the leaked AshleyMadison database, and this has top military officials just a tad concerned.

          According to The Hill, the U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in his daily briefing Thursday that the DoD is investigating the leak.

          “I’m aware of it, of course it’s an issue, because conduct is very important,” Carter told reporters at the briefing, The Hill reported. The publication notes that adultery in the military is a prosecutable offense under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

          Maximum punishment includes dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for one year. As such, Carter told reporters that service members found to have used adultery website Ashley Madison could face disciplinary action.

          Kellerman said attacks against military personnel who used AshleyMadison may well target spouses of people whose information is included in the database — all in a bid to infect the spouse as a way to eventually steal information from the real target (the cheating military husband or wife).

          “Something must already be going on for [the Secretary of Defense] to actually have a press conference on that,” Kellerman said. “We may actually see spear-phishing campaigns against spouses of individuals who are involved in this, attacks that say, ‘Hey, your wife or husband was involved in this site, do you want to see proof of that?’

          And the proof, in this scenario, would be a a booby-trapped attachment that deploys spyware or malware.

          Mac, who’s not a military man, says he doesn’t regret the affair he had via AshleyMadison; his only regret is not finding a way to keep his home address out of his records on the site.

          “I regret using my home address and some of my personal information that AshleyMadison didn’t take as good care of as they should have,” he said. “But I really, I’m mad these hackers feel it’s so important to force the hand of people that have a different outlook on life.”

          The AshleyMadison data is leaked on various sites, but the data itself is not easily searchable by folks who aren’t familiar with raw database files. However, several sites have since popped up that allow anyone to search by email address to find if that address had an account at True, did not always verify email addresses, but some of these AshleyMadison search services coming online will indicate whether the associated email address also has a payment record — a marker which could be useful to extortionists.
          Last edited by dlevere; 08-23-2015, 07:55:16 AM.
          The Hackmaster
          dlevere's blog


          • #6
            30 million Ashley Madison users, mapped

            Last edited by dlevere; 08-24-2015, 03:16:57 PM.
            The Hackmaster
            dlevere's blog


            • #7
              2 people may have committed suicide after Ashley Madison hack
              The Hackmaster
              dlevere's blog


              • #8
                Ashley Madison Offering $500,000 Reward for Info on Hackers
                The Hackmaster
                dlevere's blog


                • #9
                  The massive quantity of people on this doesn't surprise me. If it weren't for religion having appeared to scare people into place, I always wondered why people weren't just a bunch of swingers capable of separating emotion and sex. Most people I encounter definitely seem like they would like to be if nobody cared enough to make a big deal of it around them, so many just resort to secrecy. I almost never see lasting relationships around me because of this. Seems like somebody somewhere always gets caught cheating, and that's the end most of the time except for a few people around me who went from temporary rage to both just admitting they want to bang everyone so they basically do and they're still together. Not sure if I live around the "norm" or not, but people I encounter seem like 99% swingers in denial due to religion and social/cultural stigma.

                  Years from now, maybe some day there will start being swingers parades in between all of the LBGT pride parades.
                  Last edited by bungholio; 08-24-2015, 10:41:05 PM.
                  Database June 30, 2017



                  • #10
                    I watch Cheaters and the Maury Show sometimes. I still can't figure out how all of the men on Maury get caught cheating in that green room with the sexy decoy.
                    The Hackmaster
                    dlevere's blog


                    • #11
                      Leaked AshleyMadison Emails Suggest Execs Hacked Competitors

                      By Brian Krebs

                      Hacked online cheating service is portraying itself as a victim of malicious cyber-criminals, but leaked emails from the company’s CEO suggests that AshleyMadison’s top leadership hacked into a competing dating service in 2012.

                      AshleyMadison CEO Noel Biderman. Source: Twitter.

                      Late last week, the Impact Team — the hacking group that has claimed responsibility for leaking personal data on more than 30 million AshleyMadison users — released a 30-gigabyte archive that it said were emails lifted from AshleyMadison CEO Noel Biderman.

                      A review of those missives shows that on at least one occasion, a former company executive hacked another dating website, exfiltrating their entire user database. On Nov. 30, 2012, Raja Bhatia, the founding chief technology officer of, sent a message to Biderman notifying his boss of a security hole discovered in, an American online magazine dedicated to sexual topics, relationships and culture.

                      At the time, was experimenting with its own adult dating section, and Bhatia said he’d uncovered a way to download and manipulate the user database.

                      “They did a very lousy job building their platform. I got their entire user base,” Bhatia told Biderman via email, including in the message a link to a Github archive with a sample of the database. “Also, I can turn any non paying user into a paying user, vice versa, compose messages between users, check unread stats, etc.”

                      Neither Bhatia nor Biderman could be immediately reached for comment. spoke with Bhatia last week after the Impact Team made good on its threat to release the Ashley Madison user database. At the time, Bhatia was downplaying the leak, saying that his team of investigators had found no signs that the dump of data was legitimate, and that it looked like a number of fake data dumps the company had seen in the weeks prior. Hours later, the leak had been roundly confirmed as legitimate by countless users on Twitter who were able to find their personal data in the cache of account information posted online.

                      The leaked Biderman emails show that a few months before Bhatia infiltrated, AshleyMadison’s parent firm — Avid Life Media — was approached with an offer to partner with and/or invest in the property. Email messages show that Bhatia initially was interested enough to offer at least $20 million for the company along with a second property called, but that AshleyMadison ultimately declined to pursue a deal.

                      More than six months after Bhatia came to Biderman with revelations of the security vulnerabilities, Biderman was set to meet with several representatives of the company. “Should I tell them of their security hole?” Biderman wrote to Bhatia, who doesn’t appear to have respond to that question via email.

                      The cache of emails leaked from Biderman run from January 2012 to July 7, 2015 — less than two weeks before the attackers publicized their break-in on July 19. According to a press conference held by the Toronto Police today, AshleyMadison employees actually discovered the breach on the morning of July 12, 2015, when they came to work and powered on their computers only to find their screens commandeered with the initial message from the Impact Team — a diatribe accompanied by the song “Thunderstruck” from rock band AC/DC playing in the background.

                      Interestingly, less than a month before that episode, AshleyMadison executives seemed very keen on completing a series of internal security assessments, audits and security awareness training exercises for employees.

                      “Given our open registration policy and recent high profile exploits, every security consultant and their extended family will be trying to trump up business,” wrote Ashley Madison Director of Security Mark Steele to Biderman in an email dated May 25, 2015. “Our codebase has many (riddled?) XSS/CRSF vulnerabilities which are relatively easy to find (for a security researcher), and somewhat difficult to exploit in the wild (requires phishing). Other vulnerabilities would be things like SQL injection/data leaks, which would be much more damaging” [links added].

                      As bad as this breach has been for AshleyMadison and its millions of users, it’s likely nowhere near over: Hackers who have been combing through the company’s leaked email records have just released a “selected dox” archive — a collection of documents, images and other data from Biderman’s inbox, including a 100-page movie script co-written by Biderman called “In Bed With Ashley Madison.” Also included in the archive are dozens of other sensitive documents, including a scan of the CEO’s drivers license, copies of personal checks, bank account numbers, home address, and his income statements for the last four years.

                      Also, the Impact Team still have not released data from the other Avid Life Media property they claim to have hacked —, a “sugar daddy” site that claims to connect wealthy men with willing young women.

                      Earlier today, Toronto Police announced that Avid Life Media had offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the hacker or hackers responsible for the breach. But many readers took to Twitter or to the comments section on this site to denounce the bounty as an overdue or cynical ploy, with some saying the company should have offered the reward weeks ago — before the Impact Team released the company’s entire user database and caused so much irreversible damage.

                      Leaving aside the proliferation of sites that now allow suspicious spouses to search for their significant other’s email address in the AshleyMadison data leak, some users are finding themselves on the receiving end of online extortion attacks. Worse still, Toronto Police told reporters this morning that they have two unconfirmed reports of suicides associated with the leak of AshleyMadison customer profiles.
                      The Hackmaster
                      dlevere's blog


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MathUser View Post
                        Yup, sounds like alot of married couples are gonna have a bad day. Websites like this shouldn't exist anyway.
                        As long as there is demand for something, someone will supply it. If it's not this site, it will be another.


                        • #13
                          Who Hacked Ashley Madison?

                          By Brian Krebs

                , a site that helps married people
                          cheat and whose slogan is “Life is Short, have an Affair,” recently put
                          up a half million (Canadian) dollar bounty for information leading to
                          the arrest and prosecution of the Impact Team — the name chosen by the hacker(s) who recently leaked data
                          on more than 30 million Ashley Madison users. Here is the first of
                          likely several posts examining individuals who appear to be closely
                          connected to this attack.

                          It was just past midnight on July 20, a few hours after I’d published an exclusive story
                          about hackers breaking into I was getting ready to
                          turn in for the evening when I spotted a re-tweet from a Twitter user
                          named Thadeus Zu (@deuszu) who’d just posted a link to the same cache of data
                          that had been confidentially shared with me by the Impact Team via the
                          contact form on my site just hours earlier: It was a link to the
                          proprietary source code for Ashley Madison’s service.

                          Initially, that tweet startled me because I couldn’t find any other
                          sites online that were actually linking to that source code cache. I
                          began looking through his past tweets and noticed some interesting
                          messages, but soon enough other news events took precedence and I forgot
                          about the tweet.

                          I revisited Zu’s tweet stream again this week after watching a press conference held by the Toronto Police (where Avid Life Media,
                          the parent company of Ashley Madison, is based). The Toronto cops
                          mostly recapped the timeline of known events in the hack, but they did
                          add one new wrinkle: They said Avid Life employees first learned about
                          the breach on July 12 (seven days before my initial story) when they
                          came into work, turned on their computers and saw a threatening message
                          from the Impact Team accompanied by the anthem “Thunderstruck” by Australian rock band AC/DC playing in the background.

                          After writing up a piece on the bounty offer,
                          I went back and downloaded all five years’ worth of tweets from Thadeus
                          Zu, a massively prolific Twitter user who typically tweets hundreds if
                          not thousands of messages per month. Zu’s early years on Twitter are a
                          catalog of simple hacks — commandeering unsecured routers, wireless
                          cameras and printers — as well as many, many Web site defacement's.

                          On the defacement front, Zu focused heavily on government Web sites
                          in Asia, Europe and the United States, and in several cases even taunted
                          his targets. On Aug. 4, 2012, he tweeted to KPN-CERT, a computer security incident response team in the Netherlands, to alert the group that he’d hacked their site. “Next time, it will be Thunderstruck. #ACDC” Zu wrote.

                          The day before, he’d compromised the Web site for the Australian Parliament, taunting lawmakers there with the tweet: “Parliament of Australia Oi! Oi! Oi!….T.N.T. Dynamite! Listen to ACDC here.”

                          I began to get very curious about whether there were any signs on or
                          before July 19, 2015 that Zu was tweeting about ACDC in relation to the
                          Ashley Madison hack. Sure enough: At 9:40 a.m., July 19, 2015
                          — nearly 12 hours before I would first be contacted by the Impact Team —
                          we can see Zu is feverishly tweeting to several people about setting up
                          replication servers” to “get the show started.” Can you spot what’s interesting in the tabs on his browser in the screenshot he tweeted that morning?

                          user ThadeusZu tweets about setting up replication servers. Did you
                          spot the Youtube video he’s playing when he took this screenshot?

                          Ten points if you noticed the tab showing that he’s listening to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”

                          A week ago, the news media pounced on the Ashley Madison story once
                          again, roughly 24 hours after the hackers made good on their threat to
                          release the Ashley Madison user database. I went back and examined Zu’s
                          tweet stream around that time and found he beat, and every other news media outlet by more than 24 hours with the Aug. 17 tweet, “Times up,”
                          which linked to the Impact Team’s now infamous post listing the sites
                          where anyone could download the stolen Ashley Madison user database.

                          ThadeusZu tweeted about the downloadable Ashley Madison data more than 24 hours before news outlets picked up on the cache.

                          WHO IS THADEUS ZU?

                          As with the social networking profiles of others who’ve been tied to
                          high-profile cyber-crimes, Zu’s online utterings appear to be filled with
                          kernels of truth surrounded by complete malarkey– thus making it
                          challenging to separate fact from fiction. Hence, all of this could be
                          just one big joke by Zu and his buddies. In any case, here are a few key
                          observations about the who, what and where of Thadeus Zu based on
                          information he’s provided (again, take that for what it’s worth).

                          Zu’s Facebook profile
                          wants visitors to think he lives in Hawaii; indeed, the time zone set
                          on several of his social media counts is the same as Hawaii. There are a
                          few third-party Facebook accounts of people demonstrably living in
                          Hawaii who tag him in their personal photos of events on Hawaii (see]this cached photo[/url],
                          for example), but for the most part Zu’s Facebook account consists of
                          pictures taken from stock image collections and do not appear to be
                          personal photos of any kind.

                          A few tweets from Zu — if truthful and not simply premeditated
                          misdirection — indicate that he lived in Canada for at least a year,
                          although it’s unclear when this visit occurred.

                          Zu’s various Twitter and Facebook pictures all feature hulking, athletic,
                          and apparently black male models (e.g. he’s appropriated two profile photos of male model Rob Evans).

                          But Zu’s real-life identity remains murky at best. The lone exception I found was an image that appears to be a genuine group photo taken of a Facebook user tagged as Thadeus Zu, along with an unnamed man posing in front of a tattoo store with popular Australian (and very inked) model/nightclub DJ Ruby Rose.

                          That photo is no longer listed in Rose’s Facebook profile, but a cached version of it is available amp;gl=us]here[/url].

                          Rose’s tour schedule indicates that she was in New York City when that
                          photo was taken, or at least posted, on Feb. 6, 2014. Zu is tagged in another Ruby Rose Facebook post five days later on Valentine’s Day. Update, 2:56 p.m.:
                          As several readers have pointed out, the two people beside Rose in
                          that cached photo appear to be Franz Dremah and Kick Gurry, co-stars in
                          the movie Edge of Tomorrow).

                          Other clues in his tweet stream and social media accounts put Zu in Australia. Zu has a Twitter account under the Twitter nick @ThadeusZu, which has a whopping 11 tweets, but seems rather to have been used as a news feed. In that account Zu is following some 35 Twitter accounts,
                          and the majority of them are various Australian news organizations.

                          That account also is following several Australian lawmakers that govern
                          states in south Australia.

                          Then again, Twitter auto-suggests popular accounts for new users to
                          follow, and usually does so in part based on the Internet address of the
                          user. As such, @ThadeusZu may have only been using an Australian Web
                          proxy or a Tor node
                          in Australia when he set up that account (several of his self-published
                          screen shots indicate that he regularly uses Tor to obfuscate his
                          Internet address).

                          Even so, many of Zu’s tweets going back several years place him in
                          Australia as well, although this may also be intentional misdirection.
                          He continuously references his “Oz girl,” (“Oz” is another word for Australia) uses the greeting “cheers” quite a bit, and even talks about people visiting him in Oz.

                          Interestingly, for someone apparently so caught up in exposing
                          hypocrisy and so close to the Ashley Madison hack, Zu appears to have
                          himself courted a married woman — at least according to his own tweets.
                          On January 5, 2014, Zu ‏tweeted:

                          “Everything is cool. Getting married this year. I am just waiting for my girl to divorce her husband. #seachange

                          A month later, on Feb. 7, 2014, Zu offered this tidbit of info:

                          “My ex. We were supposed to get married 8 years ago but she was taken
                          away from me. Cancer. Hence, my downward spiral into mayhem.”

                          To say that Zu tweets to others is a bit of a misstatement. I have
                          never seen anyone tweet the way Zu does; He sends hundreds of tweets
                          each day, and while most of them appear to be directed at nobody, it
                          does seem that they are in response to (if not in “reply” to) tweets
                          that others have sent him or made about his work. Consequently, his
                          tweet stream appears to the casual observer to be nothing more than an
                          endless soliloquy.

                          But there may something else going on here. It is possible that Zu’s
                          approach to tweeting — that is, responding to or addressing other
                          Twitter users without invoking the intended recipient’s Twitter handle —
                          is something of a security precaution. After all, he had to know and
                          even expect that security researchers would try to reconstruct his
                          conversations after the fact. But this is far more difficult to do when
                          the Twitter user in question never actually participates in threaded

                          People who engage in this way of tweeting also do not
                          readily reveal the Twitter identities of the people with whom they chat

                          Thadeus Zu — whoever and wherever he is in real life — may not have
                          been directly involved in the Ashley Madison hack; he claims in several
                          tweets that he was not part of the hack, but then in countless tweets he
                          uses the royal “We” when discussing the actions and motivations of the
                          Impact Team. I attempted to engage Zu in private conversations without
                          success; he has yet to respond to my invitations.

                          It is possible that Zu is instead a white hat security researcher or
                          confidential informant who has infiltrated the Impact Team and is merely
                          riding on their coattails or acting as their mouthpiece. But one thing
                          is clear: If Zu wasn’t involved in the hack, he almost certainly knows
                          who was.

                          KrebsOnSecurity is grateful to several researchers, including Nick Weaver,
                          for their assistance and time spent indexing, mining and making sense
                          of tweets and social media accounts mentioned in this post. Others who
                          helped have asked to remain anonymous. Weaver has published some
                          additional thoughts on this post over at Medium.
                          The Hackmaster
                          dlevere's blog


                          • #14
                            Analysis Reveals Almost No Real Women On Ashley Madison

                            Posted by timothy

                            gurps_npc writes:

                            Ashley Madison claimed to have about 31 million men and 5.5 million woman enrolled. Those odds are not good for the men, 6:1.

                            But unfortunately, most of those 'women' were fake.

                            This researcher analyzed the data and found only 12,000 actual, real women using Ashley Madison. That means for every 7,750 men, there were 3 women.

                            There are reports that Ashley Madison paid people to create fake female profiles. Their website admits that 'some of the users may be there for "entertainment purposes."'

                            The article itself is well written, including a description of the analysis. A charitable person would say that Ashley Madison was selling a fantasy, not reality. But a realist would say Ashley Madison is just a thief stealing money from lonely, unhappy men.
                            The Hackmaster
                            dlevere's blog


                            • #15
                              That stuff about Thadeus is interesting. You pick good news stories to post.