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Extramarital dating website Ashley Madison hacked

Customer names and credit card numbers, among other data, were stolen.

By Ed Adamczyk
Extramarital dating website Ashley Madison hacked
the dating website Ashley Madison was hacked, with customer records vulnerable to exposure, the company revealed Monday (Ashley Madison website)

TORONTO, July 20 (UPI) -- Ashley Madison, a website for those seeking extramarital affairs, has been hacked by a group threatening to expose users' customer records.

The security breach of the company, which claims to have 37 million users in at least 30 countries, was acknowledged Monday by Toronto-based Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison owner.

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"We were recently made aware of an attempt by an unauthorized party to gain access to our systems. At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized access points. We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber-terrorism will be held responsible."

Security writer Brian Krebs, who revealed the hack on his website, said the breach was initiated by a group called The Impact Team, which alleges Ashley Madison retains records regarding customers' names, addresses, credit card numbers and other data, even though it offers to erase a user's data profile for a $19 fee. The group has threatened to publish the stolen information if the website is not taken down.

Ashley Madison, whose advertising slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair," was among several dating sites criticized in a 2012 Electronic Frontier Foundation report for lax privacy and security procedures.

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