NZ Herald 22 July 2015
At first glance, the profiles seem innocent enough. There’s Lucy, 31, from Rochester, who enjoys cooking, theatre and books, and Jack, 46, from Hampshire, who describes himself as a “laid-back character who travels a lot with work and loves music and sport”.
Some of the requests even sound rather sweet. Matthew, a 59-year-old Londoner, hopes to meet a woman to “chat about life in general, politics, faith and social justice”, while Sally, 43, from Hertfordshire, wants “someone to keep me on my toes and make my pulse race”.
They could all be hopefuls on an ordinary dating website – one of the many that have sprung up in recent years to help single men and women find love through the internet.
But these profiles are far more sinister than that. For the people behind them are all, in fact, married. They are signed up to Ashley Madison, a controversial website that promotes and caters for extra-marital affairs.
One can only imagine the huge wave of terror felt by them yesterday when a group of hackers threatened to reveal the identities of Ashley Madison’s members.
One of the site’s many opponents, a secretive group calling themselves The Impact Team, claim to have hacked into the online database and stolen the details and private messages. They warn that unless the site is shut down with immediate effect, they will expose its 37 million cheating users worldwide by publishing their names, addresses and explicit images online.