More than 2,700 people living in Chester are on edge after their customer data was stolen from a dating website for married people who wish to cheat on their spouse.
The Chronicle has had sight of the leaked information from the Ashley Madison site –whose tag line is ‘Life is Short, Have an Affair’ – with a total of 2,776 customers giving their postal town address as Chester, UK.
Hackers stole the data last month and threatened to reveal it unless the match making site for married people was taken down.
A total of 9.7 gigabytes of data has been leaked on the so called dark web. It includes names, addresses, encrypted passwords, phone numbers, email addresses and even partial credit card details. Ashley Madison says it operates in more than 50 countries and has 37 million users, more than a million of whom live in the UK.
Small pieces of the data had already been leaked in July.
In a statement, Canada-based Avid Life Media, the company behind Ashley Madison, said it had 'now learned that the individual or individuals responsible for this attack claim to have released more of the stolen data'. Describing the hack as ‘an act of criminality’, the company said it was fully cooperating with law enforcement to find the hackers.
Security blogger Brian Krebs says the leak appeared to be real.
He wrote: “I’ve now spoken with three vouched sources who all have reported finding their information and last four digits of their credit card numbers in the leaked database. Also, it occurs to me that it’s been almost exactly 30 days since the original hack.”
Another security consultant Alan Woodward told the BBC that Avid Life Media had used the bcrypt encryption standard to scramble users’ passwords.
“Bcrypt is one of the more modern ways to make it harder for people to reverse engineer passwords - it’s not impossible but it would take a hacker much longer to work out what they are,” he said.
Even so, the release of the unencrypted email addresses means users may be targeted by spammers and scammers.