Ashley Madison Says Site Continues to Attract New Members After Hack

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ashley Madison Courted Buyers, Landed None Before Attack.

Avid Life Media, the parent company behind hacked dating site Ashley Madison, says this morning that media reports claiming the site had very few active female users were inaccurate. Russian-speaking hackers have breached 97 websites, mostly dating-related, and stolen login credentials, putting hundreds of thousands of users at risk.Britain’s spies have been looking through leaked files from the Ashley Madison adultery website – to see if they have anything to worry about but also whether they can use it to obtain intelligence.

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. Many of the websites are niche dating ones similar to Ashley Madison, according to a list compiled by Hold Security, a Wisconsin-based company that specializes in analyzing data breaches. Some unnamed buyers needed out, a number of makes an attempt to shut a deal or increase funds failed, and a public market debut appeared more and more unlikely, the paperwork present.

According to database research from Gizmodo in August, of Ashley Madison’s roughly 37 million users, only 5.5 million were marked “female.” But of that subsection, only a small percentage appeared to be active on the site – checking their messages, or using the site’s chat system, for example. Two people have reportedly taken their own lives as a result of the hack and police have seen an increase in attempts by criminals to blackmail people on the list. 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.

And, according to the source, the security services around the world would be doing much the same – only with the aim of obtaining intelligence, rather than money. In an April 2015 letter addressed to all its buyers, closely-held Avid Life acknowledged that some buyers had pressed it to enhance liquidity so they might promote shares.

An analysis of the data by the editor-in-chief of technology website Gizmodo, Annalee Newitz, found that an estimated three out of every 10,000 Ashley Madison members were actually real women. The corporate stated it will purchase again as much as $10 million value of shares. “During the last couple of years, we’ve not been profitable in exploring numerous options together with a sale of the enterprise and looking for debt from third events,” stated the letter signed by the board of administrators. None of the dating sites are nearly as prominent as Ashley Madison, which saw sensitive company information, emails, internal documents and details of 30 million registered users released in a devastating data breach. The information includes a list of websites and their software vulnerabilities, along with some notes written in Russian, said Holden, a native Russian speaker. The company says that the reporter “made incorrect assumptions about the meaning of fields contained in the leaked data.” “This reporter concluded that the number of active female members on Ashley Madison could be calculated based on those assumptions.

Bankers advised Reuters final month – earlier than the huge disclosure of its clients’ info – that a full knowledge dump would create a ‘doomsday state of affairs’ for the corporate, and kill any IPO plan. Hold Security comes across such stolen data repositories frequently in their research, but it doesn’t have the resources to contact every company named.

Biderman’s objective was to start out acquisition talks with the a lot bigger rival. “They might be CRAZY to not converse with us,” wrote Biderman in February this yr. And in Might: “If there was ever a second to have a ‘personal’ assembly with Diller, it’s now.” However in an e-mail message later forwarded to Biderman by an middleman, one IAC director, Bryan Lourd, was blunt concerning the possibilities IAC may purchase Ashley Madison: “They do not need it.” Avid Life in April stated it was contemplating an preliminary public providing in London, at a $1 billion valuation, with firm executives expressing hope in media interviews that European buyers would show extra understanding of the controversial enterprise than these inNorth America. Women last week sent over 2.8 million messages, the statement continues, noting also that “recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated.” If you tend to believe that any press is good press, then there’s the possibility that Ashley Madison saw a rise in user numbers as people heard time about the dating site, whose tagline is “Life is short.

The emails present that Biderman acquired an off-the-cuff strategy in Might from Cliff Lerner, the CEO of Snap Interactive Inc , which owns the web courting website AYI. A spokesman for Snap stated Lerner had a brief forwards and backwards e mail dialog with Avid Life representatives, however finally determined a deal would not work. 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). But Ashley Madison has lost the trust of its users and the wider online community, following the large-scale data breach, which exposed the personal details of some 37 million members.

Companies are primarily concerned that their employees may use the same password to sign up for Web services they use at work, putting a company at risk. He advised an acquaintance, who helped put different corporations’ financing offers collectively, that he was trying to increase between $50 million and $75 million in debt. 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 cheated himself, 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.

Avid Life had a letter of intent from Fortress Credit score Corp, a part of Fortress Funding Group LLC , to borrow $43 million in September 2013, the paperwork the hackers launched present, however the deal by no means went by means of. “I can affirm that the proposed mortgage you referenced didn’t shut,” Gordon Runté, head of investor and media relations at Fortress, stated in response to queries, declining to remark additional on the explanations. It doesn’t appear that they’ve stolen more sensitive data on registered users, as was the case with Ashley Madison, where sensitive profile information was dumped, including birth dates, dating preferences and GPS data. It additionally acquired a time period sheet for a $40 million three-year mortgage from GMP Securities, a Canadian funding financial institution, in 2012.

Other times, hackers used this kind of data to threaten websites with distributed denial-of-service attacks, which can knock a website offline, in order to extract a ransom. In a single occasion, a cope with Canadian billionaire Alex Shnaider and frozen yogurt mogulMichael Serruya fell aside due to CEO Biderman’s “troublesome and really demanding” character, in line with an e-mail from the potential consumers. Shnaider confirmed that he and Serruya needed to strike a deal to accumulate Avid Life and had settlement in precept to purchase it. “We didn’t really feel snug, on the finish of the day, going via with the deal,” he stated.

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