Ashley Madison claims thousands of new users despite leak of information

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ashley Madison Claims 87,596 Totally Real Women Who Are Definitely Real Just Signed Up.

The service has gained “hundreds of thousands” of new users in the weeks since a very public breach and dump of user data, according to parent company Avid Life Media (ALM). “Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing,” ALM said in a statement. “This past week alone, hundreds of thousands of new users signed up for the Ashley Madison platform—including 87,596 women.” The number of women on the site has been a controversial issue.The parent company of cheating website Ashley Madison has not only denied what it calls reports of its “imminent demise” following a massive data breach, but claims 87,596 new female users have signed up in the past week.

The group that claims to be behind the hack, The Impact Team, said it went after Ashley Madison in part because the site is a scam and has far fewer female members than it claims. The numbers cannot be independently confirmed, however, as the company has no measures in place to verify the gender, identity or email addresses of its members. “Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated. How is one supposed to imagine a future for it in the wake of a hack that led to the public shaming of many of the site’s members and the resignation of its parent company’s CEO? A Gizmodo investigation corroborated that and found that only 12,000 of the 5.5 million female profiles on the adultery site belonged to living, breathing women. Reporting its death is a perfectly reasonable trap, one that I fell into when writing about the site last week, as I described what its users “had” done, operating on the implicit assumption that they wouldn’t be doing it anymore.

That hack revealed personal details about the infidelity website’s 37 million users, as well as data suggesting that more than 31 million of those users were men. Gizmodo also uncovered other odd findings, like the fact that many women’s IP address belonged to the same company that hosted Ashley Madison backups, which could indicate their accounts were created at Ashley Madison itself. Here’s what that chunk of the statement says: Some journalists have turned the focus of the criminal act against Ashley Madison inside out, attacking us instead of the hackers. That conclusion was wrong.” New information about AshleyMadison.com is coming out everyday, but the biggest shocker about the cheating site may have just been revealed.

The hack, by a group calling itself the “Impact Team,” resulted in customers’ personal details, often including financial information, posted online. Ashley Madison and ALM (which also owns Cougar Life and Established Men) is “actively adjusting” after the breach, which saw the private details of millions of customers dumped online. Of course, if existing engagement ratios hold, only 26 of those definitely real women are ever going to take a gander at what other users write to them. A representative for Avid Life declined to comment when asked by The Huffington Post about how many of those messages came from confirmed, human women.

Without naming Newitz, it suggests that her analysis was flawed, asserting that she based it on “incorrect assumptions about the meaning of fields contained in the leaked data.” Claiming that women sent “more than 2.8 million messages within our platform” in the last week, the site’s press office goes on to assert that the ratio of active male accounts to active female accounts—accounts which were, presumably, operated by entirely real “people,” though the press release isn’t clear on this point—was 1.2 to 1. Men, on the other hand, must purchase credits in order to send private messages to ladies. “Approximately 70 percent of our revenue on any given day is from members making repeat purchases,” Avid Life’s press release says. “We think that shows happy customers on a consistent basis.”

A more telling—if accidental—data point, however, may be the company’s claim in its recent press release that the site remains “the number one service for people seeking discrete relationships.” While the company normally describes its services as “discreet,” which means “on the sly,” “discrete” refers to something that stands entirely alone. The company also noted that its mobile app is the 14th highest grossing app in the social networking category in the U.S. iTunes App Store. (At the time of writing, however, it’s actually #20). It seems that the company may not have been scrubbing the details from those who paid for the “full delete” option, and it certainly was engaged in populating the site with fake accounts, its internal emails revealed.

As icing on the cake, ALM’s CEO, who claimed to have never himself cheated, was discovered to have multiple, ongoing affairs in these emails. (He stepped down last week.) In other words, ALM can make all the statements it wants, but the damage has been done to its reputation.

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