Ashley Madison gaining ‘hundreds of thousands of new clients’ despite data leak

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

Ashley Madison, the website for men who think they are meeting women to have affairs with, is apparently unfazed by a massive breach of its users’ personal data and the resignation last week of its founder. “Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated,” the statement reads. “Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing.

This morning, Ashley Madison’s parent company Avid Life Media released a statement indicating it plans to keep operating as if nothing is wrong, despite being embroiled in a giant scandal over losing loads of user data to hackers. This past week alone, hundreds of thousands of new users signed up for the Ashley Madison platform – including 87,596 women.” The press release also lashes out at journalists who reported on information from the hack earlier this month. That’s hard to believe, given that the leaked emails resulting from the massive data breach also revealed the company paid people to create fake profiles (dubbed “angels”) on an ongoing basis, and had even wanted to find a way to automate this activity. 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. If those numbers turned you off, never fear: In its recent press release, Ashley Madison claims that 87,596 totally real women who are definitely real have signed up in the “past week alone.” In its specificity, this number is clearly meant to carry the weight of authority and truth. Furthermore, in the first half of this year the ratio of male members who paid to communicate with women on our service versus the number of female members who actively used their account (female members are not required to pay to communicate with men on Ashley Madison) was 1.2 to 1.

Given the amount of publicity the site has received, it’s entirely possible that some new users created accounts, whether out of curiosity, intent to troll, or even real desire. 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. 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.”

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). If anything stands alone on Ashley Madison, it must be those relationships, most of which are likely still playing out only in the individual imaginations of its members. 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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