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The hackers have leaked some information online already, but that data did not appear to be the bulk of what was collected.
The corporate parent of Ashley Madison, Avid Life Media, said on Monday that it had adjusted its policy for deleting user data, an apparent complaint of the hackers, but the company gave no indication that it planned to close the site.“We immediately launched a thorough investigation,” the company said, “utilizing leading forensics experts and other security professionals to determine the origin, nature and scope of this incident.”While nearly every dating website ends up facilitating its fair share of cheaters, Ashley Madison, based in Toronto, has made a name for itself by specifically catering to two-timers.
Anyone 18 or older can join the free site discreetly, using a pseudonym.
There, the users can list turn-ons and sexual preferences.
In May, the sexual preferences of users of Adult Friend Finder, another dating website, were leaked online after a breach.“I think we’re going to see more of it as people see how effective it is,” said Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer for Resilient Systems, a security company, said of the Ashley Madison breach.Still, on Monday, the website waived its deletion fee for all members.The breach, and the hackers complaints about the data policy, was first reported on Sunday by Brian Krebs, a reporter who covers online security.For any dating website, much less one meant for extramarital romance, to continue to grow and be attractive to potential investors, consumers must be confident that their data will be protected.Under American copyright law, Ashley Madison has the power to scrub away private user information leaked in the breach and posted to other websites.