People who were hoping to keep their affairs a secret could be in for a very nasty shock this morning.
Customer data has been stolen from Ashley Madison – a dating website for married men and women wishing to cheat on their spouse.
The hackers claim they’ve obtained information including “all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions”.
The site’s operator confirmed there had been an intrusion but did not reveal the extent, however security expert Brian Krebs added that a small percentage of the site’s user account data has been published online.
The hackers, who call themselves ‘The Impact Team’, said they had managed to steal the real names and addresses of the site’s users, including those who had previously paid to “delete” their accounts.
The website offered a service where people could hide their profiles for free, but charged them $19 (£12) for a “full delete”.
The hackers said this service was a “complete lie” because some personal information was kept, and ‘The Impact Team’ reportedly plan to post more customer details until the website is closed.
Ashley Madison currently operates in more than 50 countries and has 37 million users, more than a million of which live in the UK.
In a statement, website owners Avid Life Media said:
We apologise for this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information. We have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorised access points. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber-terrorism will be held responsible.
In May, casual dating website Adult Friend Finder was also hacked, and thousands of its customer records were leaked online.