The first blog I wrote for this website was on privacy, but it was aimed at the government and it celebrated hackers.
Let me be crystal clear, I support 'HACKTIVISTS', not hackers.
I have this thing about me that I don't like judging people for how they live, what one believes in and stands for or what they do for a living...
For instance, I don't judge anyone for how they make their money. As long as innocence remains off limits and protected, I don't care how anyone pays their rent.
So, if you sell drugs, as long as it's to adults, then that's fine. If you're a hit man, that's great, just stick to your targets. And the same goes for you hackers.
If you want to rob banks, ripoff Fortune 500 companies and make it so you never have to pay for a phone call ever again, I say great. All I ask is that you leave the innocent alone.
I also believe that to be true when exposing hypocritical lawmakers, corrupt politicians, Scientologists and anyone who seems above the law or above we the 99 percent. The Ashley Madison hack were none of those...
By now most people know about the Ashley Madison website and if they don't, I'm sure they do now. Ashely Madison is a "dating" site for married people who want to have sex with someone other than their spouse.
They've recently been all over the news because their "discrete, safe and secure" site was hacked.
The website has been online since 2001 and it's tagline is, "Life is short. Have an affair". Personally I think that's an awesome concept given that couples cheat on each other in such great amounts these days anyway. Affairs are all too common in many marriages. Sex is everywhere. So, if you're not getting any love at home it's going to be even harder to keep it in your pants or skirt.
For that, I ask why not have a safe outlet to be able to cheat and not have it come back to you over some obsessed crazy person who now wants you to leave your partner in life? Sure what you're doing is considered betrayal and if it does bite you, you have no one to blame but yourself. Well, that was until Ashley Madison left themselves open to a big hack attack.
I don't condone cheating, but I understand why people do it. I used to ask, why get married if you're just going to cheat? Well, you have to walk a mile in someone's shoes to understand why a person does what they do.
Ashley Madison is owned by 'Avid Life Media', an entertainment company founded in 2007 by Noel Biderman. The company operates online social networking and dating communities for men and women worldwide.
Avid Life Media is based in Toronto Canada and it's president and chief executive officer is Noel Biderman. It's chief operating officer is Rizwan Jiwan and Cheif technical officer is now Trever Sykes.
It's previous CTO was Raja Bhatia and he allegedly hacked a competing website while working at ALM.
An email released with the leaked data had Bhatia explaining to Biderman (the CEO) that he had found a security hole in the server of Nerve.com.
'Nerve.com', is an online magazine that caters to topics of sex, relationships and culture. They launched an online dating service and Biderman was not to happy about that. As told by Bhatia and reported on Mother Board "Biderman really wanted to hack Nerve.com".
Bhatia's email expressed the amount of control he had over the site. He had control of Nerve's entire user base. He said he could turn non-paying users into paying ones. He can manipulate the site however he wanted and could even send messages to users disguised as another user.
Bhatia to Biderman, "Also, I can turn any non-paying user into a paying user, vice versa, compose messages between users, check unread stats, etc."
Mother Board reports that Bhatia had a change of heart at the last minute and did not go through with the hack because, he said "I want to be able to look my son in the eye one day".
No one could tell you if that claim is true, but the fact remains they got into Nerve's server. How else would he know what he could do with their site?
The email was internal and never deleted, there for it got picked up with everything else, but it wasn't completely sure why or who scooped up the info.
A hacker group by the name of 'The Impact Team' didn't just claim responsibility, they were proud in explaining how they did and how long it took them to accomplish the hack.
I had originally heard that the group went after the website because it felt the service it was providing was morally wrong.
Now I hear that the real reason Impact Team was upset was over Ashley Madison's termination policy. Not so much the policy itself, but how they didn't hold up their end of it.
Ashley Madison charges it's users $19.00 to have their account and information fully deleted. The website made $1.7 million last year alone on termination fees. This makes the next part even more infuriating and illegal.
Noel Biderman and his team of provocative perverts never deleted anyone's information. The account was no longer in play, but the information users submitted never left their storage drives. Basically, the CEO Noel Biderman, the CTO Raja Bhatia and some employees at Avid Life and Ashley Madison committed fraud and grand larceny. Unfortunately, no one is questioning that as a crime. All everyone is focused on is the list.
So all the while Biderman and his CTO were ripping its customers off and spending time combing through Nerve's user base and hacking accounts, the Impact Team was circling them. They were so busy being greedy and malicious that they never thought to check if they themselves were vulnerable.
This is far from over, but for now the results aren't pretty...
32 million people have been exposed in the 10 gigs of data released which dates back to 2008.
Names, street and email addresses, amounts paid and 4 digit numbers of every single user. It's not clear if those are the last four digits of credit card numbers or some kind code.
It had been reported that credit card numbers weren't stolen, but other sources are saying they were. I can't say for sure at this moment because I don't have those facts. I am sure that will be revealed soon enough.
This is what I mean when I refer to the difference between hacking and hacktivists. I feel hackers have a way to hurt the ones who deserve it without compromising the innocent.
I know it's Ashley Madison we're talking about and no one on that client list is innocent. But, they aren't criminals, not to anyone's knowledge anyway. And certainly not to the hackers who went after Ashley Madison, not it's users. Unfortunately the users will suffer way more than Ashley Madison.
Ashley Madison and Avid Life Media are multi-million dollar companies and no one is talking about the fact that they stole $1.7 million from their customers. Everyone is talking about how excited they are to find out what VIPs are on that list.
Well, I know there are 15,000 military and government personelle on that list. And I'm certainly not quick to call men and women of our armed forces criminals. Nor will I do that to anyone without knowing the facts.
Allow me to generalize for a moment... The worst people do on this website is have sex with other people that are not
NEWS FLASH; So does everyone else in America. They just do it the old fashion way. Stay late at work or have "poke-her" nights.
I understand that this is a really mean thing to do, but no one can ever come close to knowing what goes on in a marriage.
It may sound sick, but many times it has helped marriages. A one-night stand with a stranger at a bar or a prostitute are your best bets. Oh and be sure not to meet them online. Also, bring cash. No paper trails.
Seriously though, like I said before; You have to walk a mile in someone's shoes to fully understand his or hers decisions.
Whatever the case may be, people having sex and when or with who is private. It doesn't matter that it's occurring outside of a marriage. Could the members of Impact Team really know that many who use Ashley Madison's services are in arrainged marriages? What about our military? Soldiers gone for long periods of time estranged from their spouse and that spark is missing. You have children and genuinely still like and love one another. So you choose to have sex with someone in the same situation.
There are many reasons for couples to cheat and not all are sinister.
I'm sorry but there is no justification for this hack.
I respect hackers that fight for privacy, not the ones who invade the privacy of people who mind their own business and live the life they have the right too.
This story will continue to evolve as more embarressing and far worse information is brought forth.
Of course there are going to be repricusions over this not just because of the hack itself, but what just occured because of it.
Two people have apparently committed suicide over the release of the client list. So now innocent people are killing themselves because their legal, adult lifestyles were exposed.
Avid Life Media has put out a $379,000 reward for anyone who can expose the hacker group's members.
Again, this hack was not well thought out and hurt the wrong people. I also want to remind you that Avid Life Media committed a crime when they took money to delete profiles and didn't.
Thanks for reading