175,000 SA cheaters caught up in Ashley Madison saga
A survey found Gauteng to be the centre of cheating, with 7 out of 10 infidelity hotspots located in it.
JOHANNESBURG - It's not yet clear how many of the 175,000 South African cheating spouses on dating website 'Ashley Madison' currently have their data compromised.
Hackers claim to have the personal details of more than 37 million subscribers and are threatening to release their nude photos and sexual fantasies unless it shuts down.
A survey last year found Gauteng to be the centre of cheating in the country with seven out of 10 infidelity hotspots located in the province.
Ashley Madison's Canadian parent, Avid Life Media, has confirmed the breach on its systems and says it's since secured its site and is working with law enforcement agencies to try to trace those behind the attack.
The hackers, who call themselves the 'Impact Team', leaked snippets online and are warning they'll release customers' real names, profiles, nude photos, and credit card details unless their demands are met.
Avid Life Media has called the breach on its systems "an unprovoked criminal intrusion".
With the tagline 'Life is short. Have an Affair', the website has faced a great deal of controversy, with many saying that it encourages married people to cheat.
Chief Executive Noel Biderman earlier said the site simply provides 'a safe alternative' to those who are already planning to cheat.
It currently boasts 37 million members in 46 countries around the world, including South Africa, Japan and South Korea.
Apart from the many marriages the security breach could impact, it could also bring into question the company's plan to list on the London Stock Exchange later this year.
Now Ashley Madison has been breached we get to wait for Christian Singles to be breached so we can search for accounts that were on both.
- real fast touchtyper (@GordyPls) July 20, 2015
Cross-reference Ashley Madison breach with OPM breach, and foreign intel have a readymade list of blackmailable US govt employees
- Liam (@liamosaur) July 20, 2015
LOLing trying to imagine what the Gawker editorial meeting about the Ashley Madison hack must sound like. http://t.co/eHk3sDM6ns
- Anil Dash (@anildash) July 20, 2015
The first time I heard of Ashley Madison I thought "wow, they're building the largest blackmail database on earth" https://t.co/9DlyNAS1ZU
- Matt Haughey (@mathowie) July 20, 2015
AshleyMadison got hacked. My analysis of the chances of someone correlating it against other recently hacked data: high
- Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) July 20, 2015
Um, I signed up at Ashley Madison for the articles.
- Matt Christman (@cushbomb) July 20, 2015
While thousands South Africans subscribed to the cheating website are unable to verify whether their personal information has been leaked, forensic experts and security professionals say they are hard at work investigating the hack.
Avid Life Media says it will continue to provide updates as they become available.