Ottawa not the only capital of cheating on Ashley Madison: ‘It seems to be a …

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ashley Madison hack: More than one million British adulterers could be at risk of blackmail.

Hackers have threatened to release the information of 37 million cheating spouses on the website Ashley Madison and it turns out a lot of them are living in capital cities. The exposure prompted a business boom for the divorce lawyers and private investigators in the capital city, which is Ashley Madison’s No. 1 Canadian hookup hub and potentially the site’s highest per capita globally.WHILE an estimated 1 million Australians were presumably nervous wrecks on Tuesday in the wake of the Ashley Madison data hack, there was another concentrated cluster of cheaters wringing their hands on the other side of the world.

More than one million British adulterers could be at risk of blackmail after an online dating service which helps users cheat on their partners suffered a major cyber attack. The hackers — furious over Ashley Madison’s delete system that allegedly doesn’t permanently delete users’ info — stole personal and financial data from the site’s 37 million subscribers. One in five Ottawa residents are allegedly subscribed to the cheating website, according to figures provided by the Toronto-based company, whose slogan is “Life Is Short. Ashley Madison, the website which has the tagline ‘life is short, have an affair’, could also face multiple class action lawsuits from its 37.5 million customers across the world.

None of the information has yet been released, and the website’s parent’s company — which also owns Cougarlife.com — was planning to go public later this year. Have an affair.” The website’s Canadian parent, Avid Life Media, said it had since secured the site and was working with law enforcement agencies to trace those behind the attack. “Everybody says Ottawa is a sleepy town and here we are with 200,000 people running around on each other,” said municipal employee Jon Weaks, 27, as he took a break at an outdoor cafe near the nation’s Parliament.

Though the site has apologized for the breach, business reports suggest it can “kiss its IPO goodbye.” But the fallout may rock more than just the company boardroom: According to the website’s data, political capitals around the world boast an abundance of users. Ken Westin, Senior Analyst at cybersecurity company Tripwire said: “Information associated with adult services has the potential to ruin lives, be used for blackmail or even espionage purposes if government officials are involved.” The hackers posted a threat saying they were angered by the website charging users £15 to remove their details from the website once they had cancelled their account.

The one bright spot for millions of Ashley Madison’s nervous clients is that the hack appears to be an inside job, according to police and intelligence sources. In its latest statement, Ashley Madison said its customers’ privacy is of the “utmost concern”, and that it is now offering its “full delete” option free to any member, in light of the hack. The hacking collective, which calls itself “The Impact Team,” busted into the site earlier this week and immediately posted some of the private information online.

Pulina Whitaker, a partner at Morgan Lewis, said: “Canada has very tight data protection laws, and British victims should be able to get redress through the Canadian courts and join a class action suit.” Privacy lawyer David Fraser told CBC News that in Canada, there is a precedent for protecting class-action participants’ identities, so users of the site would not necessarily “out” themselves if they took part, but they may need to prove financial loss in order to claim damages. Ottawa marriage counsellor Nataxja Cini said the city was full of professionals with demanding careers, many in government, which could put a strain on relationships. Research has shown that powerful men, whether in business, sports or politics, are more likely to cheat — even in school — so why wouldn’t that apply to the growing number of women on top as well? But being part of a stable family was still seen as a badge of success, and so an Ashley Madison subscription may be preferable to a divorce “In a blue collar city, they’re not going to use a website, they’re going to do it at a bar,” said Kary, 38. “[In Ottawa], you can’t run the risk of someone seeing you at a bar doing that.” John Sullivan is a private investigator whose company Triangle Investigations Agency primarily investigates adultery.

The hackers want Avid Life to shut down the website, as well as a second one it runs, EstablishedMen.com which is widely described as a “sugar daddy site,” but has no issues with CougarLife.com, a site for older women looking for hookups. “In our buttoned-down city, it may not be acceptable to openly explore outside of a committed relationship,” said Ottawa marriage counselor Nataxja Cini. Jack Izzard, Director, Rhizome PR, argued that despite their previous PR stance, the hack will hit the brand hard: “It’s ironic then that a company that has lived by the sword may now die by it. “This hack is an instant passion killer, equivalent to hearing your other half’s key in the front door. Provincial capitals don’t fear nearly as well on the top ten list of places to go in Canada if you’re looking for a little something on the side, but three of them do break the top ten: Edmonton, Toronto and Winnipeg.

People who are suspicious their spouse is cheating on them hire a PI to accumulate evidence in case they divorce. “Where the information is helpful is it becomes leverage to negotiate a better settlement for the client,” Mr Sullivan said. A former employee sued Avid Life, saying she had developed debilitating wrist pain, insomnia and anxiety while writing 1,000 fake profiles for a Brazilian version of Ashley Madison, according to court records. The hackers claim to have stolen sensitive information from every user. “We’re on the doorstep of (confirming) who we believe is the culprit,” he told cybersecurity expert Bryan Krebs Sunday. “I’ve got their profile right in front of me, all their work credentials. Dr Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist and human behaviour researcher who has studied romantic interpersonal attraction for more than 30 years. “We make all kinds of decisions about how we’re going to lead our love lives; and the vast majority of people have found that it’s a whole lot easier, if you pick the right person and fall in love with that persona, to stick with that person, because the human brain is simply not built to share,” she told CNN. “We want a deep trust and attachment to somebody, we want to feel electric romantic energy when we’re with them and we want to crave them sexually, we want all three systems operating 100 per cent all the time,” she said. “You can go back to Jerry Springer and Maury Povich to understand our enjoyment of it, that moment when the woman raises a chair about to hit the guy.

We are fascinated with people who lie and deceive the people that they love,” she said. “It’s scary, because everyone who is in a relationship goes, ‘What if that was my partner?’” But while a cheating scandal is juicy from the sidelines, Dr Goldstein questions whether Ashley Madison’s members should be publicly named and shamed. “There are so many different types of relationships these days. We have to be careful about jumping on the self-righteous high horse, because we don’t know if their relationship was open to other people, or if their partner knows and they’ve both decided to just deal with it and get on with their lives,” she said.

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