Ashley Madison represents new darker stage of cyber hacking

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Cyber criminals are increasingly hacking for ransom, raising concerns around data security and privacy, writes Gary Newe, technical director at F5 Networks. In late July, Avid Life Media (ALM) – owners of online dating site Ashley Madison – confirmed it had been the victim of a massive data breach, potentially exposing the personal details and identities of millions of Ashley Madison users. A month on and the firm’s fears (not to mention the fears of its users) were confirmed when the hackers supposedly responsible, known as the Impact Team, published the names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card transaction details of around 32-million customers. The information was published via the “Dark Web” – a semi-anonymised corner of the Internet only accessible using a special Tor browser and Onion router. Naturally, instructions on how to access the data appeared, followed by a flood of stories in the tabloids of partners who had found their other halves’ details. Further coverage has included accusations that the leak was an inside job and deeper social reflection as to how or why many people actually use the site. The dark side From a cybersecurity perspective, however, Ashley Madison represents the most high profile example yet […]

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