The Real Life Story of the Ashley Madison Hack

At its peak and the time of the hack, Ashley Madison claimed to have 32 million users around the world. But that’s not to say the site didn’t have its issues before the 2015 hack, as the new docuseries looks into how many of the female profiles on the site were fake. The series reveals how the site employed people whose specific job it was to set up fake profiles and interact with paying members to keep them on the site for a little bit longer. 

What Is the Ashley Madison Hack 2015?

In July 2015 a hacker group called the Impact Team told journalist Brian Krebs they had hacked Ashley Madison. They stated that they had obtained sensitive user information from Avid Life Media (ALM), the firm that owned Ashley Madison, as well as related sites such as Cougar Life and Established Men.

Why did they do this? According to the statement that was released at the time, they wanted Ashley Madison and its associated sites shut down permanently. If they refused to do this their statement said “we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.”

The site and ALM refused to shut down and as a result the hackers leaked all the stolen data. The hack also revealed that although Ashley Madison charged its users $20 to fully delete their information from the site, their private information including email and banking information was never actually deleted, meaning previous users also had their information leaked. As the docuseries explores, the hack damaged the lives of celebrities as well as everyday people simply wanting to indulge in an affair. 

What Celebrities Were Affected by the Ashley Madison Hack?

The most notable was arguably the already disgraced reality star Josh Duggar from 19 Kids and Counting. By the time of the hack Duggar was already facing molestation accusations. However, the hack revealed that Duggar was paying for two Ashley Madison accounts and even paying a monthly fee to ensure he met other women. 

Christian YouTuber Sam Rader also made a YouTube video confessing to having an Ashley Madison account prior to beginning his YouTube channel and that his wife had forgiven him. Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton who was the prosecutor on the Casey Anthony murder trial admitted to using the website out of curiosity but never cheated. Another member of the site was Louisiana GOP official and Donald Trump admin hire Jason Doré who claimed to use the site for opposition research

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