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Many news sites and blogs are reporting that the data stolen last month from 37 million users of Ashley — a site that facilitates cheating and extramarital affairs — has finally been posted online for the world to see.
Also, it occurs to me that it’s been almost exactly 30 days since the original hack.
Finally, all of the accounts created at for prior to the original breach appear to be in the leaked data set as well.
I’m sure there are millions of Ashley Madison users who wish it weren’t so, but there is every indication this dump is the real deal.
A huge trove of data nearly 10 gigabytes in size was dumped onto the Deep Web and onto various Torrent file-sharing services over the past 48 hours.
According to a story at Wired.com, included in the files are names, addresses and phone numbers apparently attached to Ashley Madison member profiles, along with credit card data and transaction information.
Links to the files were preceded by a text file message titled “Time’s Up” (see screenshot below).
From taking in much of the media coverage of this leak so far — for example, from the aforementioned Wired piece or from the story at security blogger Graham Cluley’s site — readers would most likely conclude that this latest collection of leaked data is legitimate.
But after an interview this evening with Raja Bhatia — Ashley Madison’s original founding chief technology officer — I came away with a different perspective.
Bhatia said he is working with an international team of roughly a dozen investigators who are toiling seven days a week, 24-hours a day just to keep up with all of the fake data dumps claiming to be the stolen Ashley Madison database that was referenced by the original hackers on July 19.
Bhatia said his team sees no signs that this latest dump is legitimate.
“On a daily basis, we’re seeing 30 to 80 different claimed dumps come online, and most of these dumps are entirely fake and being used by other organizations to capture the attention that’s been built up through this release,” Bhatia said.
“In total we’ve looked at over 100GB of data that’s been put out there.