A hactivist group exposed 32 million cheaters,

but is that really that wrong?

A dating website called Ashely Madison seems to think that monogamy is dead, along with it’s  nearly 40 million users.

Made apparent by their slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair” this isn’t a standard dating site, but is actually intended as social network site for married people seeking to have an afair.

While some people do participate in open relationships or polygamy, this site wasn’t designed for those people, but specifically for cheating.

A hacking group named “Impact Team” took particular problem with the cheating site, and stole years of customer records, including their names, accounts, credit card information, addresses, and even their “sexual fantasies”.

They released a statement that Ashley Madison had to be shut down, or they would all of the information.

However, the website stayed up, and  offered users protection of their files for an additional $19 per person.  The Impact Team said that the accounts that paid still didn’t have their information deleted, and after a month of threats, they released all of the information in a single 9.7gb data dump to the dark web.

32 million accounts were exposed to the web. That’s a lot of marriages, jobs, and credit cards ruined, but the hackers showed no remorse, “Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion,” the hackers wrote. “Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver.”

Sure, the hackers embarrassed a lot of people, but didn’t they know the risk they were taking when they started cheating? Especially through an affair website.

If you knew your friend’s significant other was cheating on them, of course you would tell them.  And that’s exactly what these hackers did.  They exposed 32 million cheating people.  The hacker didn’t ruin their marriages, the cheater did.

Also, if the person was in an open relationship, the significant other wouldn’t care that their partner was cheating, so it isn’t an issue.

Despite the company offering $500,000 for information on the hacker, I believe the Impact Team should be qualified as hactivists.

The Impact Team had a clear cause, outlined what they would do with the information, and even gave the company a month to do something about it.  Instead the company attempted to make more money from the situation, and failed to the protect their users.  Therefor, the Impact Team released the information, including a introduction explaining that not all users were guilty.

Screenshot from Kim Zetter, published on WIRED

The hactivist team may have exposed a lot of information, but the damage was done by the the Ashley Madison website and the cheaters who partook.


**featured image owned and copyrighted by Xlc under CC BY-SA 4.0