Hackers claiming to have stolen data from AshleyMadison.com, a website that facilitates hookups between would-be adulterers, have released information they say includes details of more than 36 million user accounts.
The data dump appears to be "legit" and includes full names, email addresses, partial credit-card data and dating preferences, said Robert Graham, chief executive of Errata Security, a researcher in Atlanta. "This is data that can 'out' serious users," Graham said in a blog post. "I have verified multiple users of the site."
The hackers, calling themselves the "Impact Team," released a "readme" file with the data that said they posted the information because AshleyMadison hadn't been taken down, as they demanded when they said they had obtained the data last month.
"Find someone you know in here? Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles," the note said.
Avid Life Media Inc. of Toronto, which operates the site, said in a statement that it is "monitoring and investigating this situation to determine the validity" of the information and is cooperating with probes by Canadian police and the FBI.-- Bloomberg News