A gigantic online list of people who’ve cheated (or tried to cheat) on their wives is an internet worst case scenario. If you’re one of those people, you’re probably wondering, How fucked am I? Here’s a guided tour of what hackers just made public.
If you’re terrified about being included in this leak, there’s a good chance you have a lot of plausible deniability. Unless you paid Ashley Madison for a premium membership, your account information is doubtfully tied to any real-life details like your home address, phone number, or credit card records. Also, because free accounts didn’t require any verification, it’s possible someone else used your email to sign up for their account. It might even be worth giving your own name a search—who know, maybe there’s another Leah Beckmann out there who signed up. That’s a fun game. Not probable, but hey, maybe it will spare you a divorce.
The hacked data is also (until someone inevitably makes it easily searchable), a huge pain in the ass to sift through. The leak is basically an enormous, unwieldy text dump chopped up into a handful of folders. It’s about 35 gigabytes of text, which is a lot of text, spanning about 33 million users:
Each of these folders contains different categories of information about people who signed up for Ashley Madison, as well some miscellaneous corporate PDFs and spreadsheets from inside the company.
The hackers, who go by Impact Team, also left a calling card and sort of manifesto:
Now let’s look at each file.
Inside “am_am.dump” is the personal profile information of 32 million Ashley Madison users, including names, sexual kinks (“Threesome,” “Bondage”), and in some cases, home address. Here are some samples taken from the file, with identifying information redacted:
VALUES (9,’2002-01-17 02:15:08’,0,’2011-10-14 13:47:31’,20,2,2,1,1,0,19630,’’,’Darren’,’[LAST NAME]’,’[STREET ADDRESS],’[PHONE NUMBER]’,’1234567’,’’,2,’[BIRTHDAY]’,’I May Be Spoken 4 But I Speak 4 Myself.’,1,65772,173,2,1,1,5,2,’|11|18|’,’Sugar babe wanted’,’I love to spoil. Open to shopping sprees, fine dining, travel, romantic get-a-ways...let me take care of you.’,’|11|4|14|26|27|18|28|’,’’,’Slim 18-25 gets my attention.’,’|37|7|33|51|34|’,’’,’Preferably someone local. No drama or unreasonable relationship expectations from me or you. Mutual respect and absolute discretion a must.’,0,4,’0260’),
(222,’2002-01-30 23:02:36’,0,’2011-10-14 13:48:17’,11,3,2,1,2,0,19839,’IM4real-ru?’,’Scott’,’[LAST NAME]’,’[STREET ADDRESS]’[PHONE NUMBERS]8’,2,’[BIRTHDAY],’Mutual fun, excitement, respect and satisfaction only - no games’,1,77112,173,4,1,2,4,2,’|1|12|13|15|16|18|21|23|24|’,’discreet pleasures only’,’I am very married and not interested in changing that. Only interested in discreet, mutual fun and stimulation on both sides. I am looking for a lady in to meet with on an ongoing basis. Kind of an occassional yet regular affair. I also travel quite a bit and would be interested in meeting a lady who also travels for her work and see if we can hook up while on the road. \r\nIf you are serious about meeting on an on-going basis and would like to see more, I have a couple of pics in my showcase that I can allow you access to - but only if you are serious.’,’’,’’,’Discreet meetings in the afternoon or evening for hot fun really turns me on. I travel extensively and would enjoy meeting you some time.’,’|9|10|12|14|21|27|28|29|31|33|38|42|’,’’,’I am looking for a lady who simply enjoys the pleasures of sex without any strings or hangups. Age and race is unimportant too me - I only ask for discretion. If you are looking for more of a relationhip, that is not me.’,675,0,’’)
(3606234,’2009-04-06 14:50:24’,0,’2011-10-24 13:28:17’,0,2,2,NULL,NULL,3,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,’Huntington’,’,NULL,NULL,NULL,2,’[BIRTHDAY],’Seeking ongoing discrete relationship’,1,83916,178,2,1,0,2,2,’|7|40|6|11|17|34|46|26|37|38|48|36|28|42|43|45|3[BIRHDAY]’,’’,’I\\\’m a very sucessfulgood looking well built married man looking for some excitement in life.Would love to meet a women for an on going mutually benificial realationship and fun.I\\\’m clean d/d free clean shaven down below. I\\\’m very oral and well hung. Work out every day very fit.You must be fit or weight height proportionate.’,’|30|31|32|45|4|10|52|11|54|14|17|55|56|58|57|’,’’,’Interested in meeting a hot lady for weekly interludes.Love big breasts as I am very oral and love to give oral.’,’|48|57|58|68|76|80|’,’’,’Looking for a hot sexy female to enjoy the best life has to offer.’,NULL,3,’yankees’)
Some users come with more details than others. In the above case, you can glean from the hack that the user in question is both a fan of “big breasts” and the New York Yankees.
(239,’2002-01-31 03:41:21’,0,’2011-10-14 13:48:20’,0,2,2,2,2,0,19856,’\’Carmen’,’C9’,’C9’,’12456’,’’,’Toronto’,’’,65,0,0,2,’[PHONE NUMBER]’,’’,’’,1,’[BIRTHDAY]’,’Let\’s see where the fun is.’,’|8|15|16|17|18|’,’’,’You\’re allowed to have fun when your screwing. That is my credo. those who don\’t feel the same way need not apply.’,’|4|5|6|7|8|10|13|14|15|17|18|20|22|25|27|28|29|’,’’,’Nothing is more of a turn on than if you can make me laugh. And I\’m not talking about some cheezy pun or monty python routine, I want a Jerry Seinfeld or a Drew Carrey. When I laugh I get so wet.’,’|2|13|28|29|30|33|34|38|’,’’,’’,0,0,’’)
The mish-mosh of numbers represent different user preferences or self-descriptions, the hackers explain in a convenient guide included in the leak. For example:
Of course, this information will only be included along with your email address if you included it to begin with.
Another folder in the leak, titled “CreditCardTransactions,” is exactly what it sounds like: seven years of financial transactions with to an adultery website, tied to individual user accounts and physical addresses (I’ve redacted two columns from this screenshot):
Luckily, Ashley Madison didn’t store full credit card numbers. Unfortunately, there’s still plenty someone can do with the information they did keep:
Again, this level of specificity only applies to users who paid Ashley Madison for its premium membership features. Anyone with a throwaway free account probably has little—if anything—tying their online philandering to their IRL presence.
The absolute worse case scenario for you as a current or former Ashley Madison user is that your full name, phone number, home address, sexual habits, embarrassing horny self-advertisement, date of registration, amounts paid for membership, height, weight, age, and support of the Yankees are now accessible to anyone with knowledge of BitTorrent and TextEdit. The good news is that even if your personal life is destroyed, your credit card information is almost certainly safe.