Why did hackers attack Ashley Madison?
For a long time –at least since the invention of the internet- hackers have always tried to play the moralistic role. But as time progresses, it is apparent that they are becoming more dangerous and shrewder.
Ashley Madison (AshleyMadison.com) is a popular dating website branded as friendly to adulterers. Cyber attackers entered the site and stole its client list and a majority of its corporate secret files. They used this information as leverage and asked for total shut down of the website within a month else they would ‘expose’ the company.
As expected, Ashley Madison(AshleyMadison.com) refused to give in to the hackers’ demands. The hackers feeling they weren’t being taken seriously released an alleged client list. Other information released included credit card data, website codes, CEO Noel Bideman email file as well as other executive email files.
For many years all you could hear about hackers is how they were relentlessly attacking financial institutions. There seems to be a new trend today; one where a hacker will access and wield personal information and data of people just for the sake of it. Ashley Madison(AshleyMadison.com) is a perfect example of a new class of hackers whose motivation is probably do nothing more than seeking attention. With this hacks increasing, many people will find their personal and private information almost becoming public knowledge.
Many a time creators of chaos will sugarcoat their goal with a ‘moral’ excuse. Besides Ashley Madison(AshleyMadison.com), you will find a number of other victims. Hacking Team is a company recognized as a leader in the development of surveillance software and apps for government and law enforcement agencies. In July, cybercriminals hacked into Hacking Team network. They released a lot of information which they purported proved Hacking Team was doing business with repressive regimes across the world. The hackers claimed that the security company had lied about who it was doing business with and how.
Much as there was no direct financial loss incurred by the hacked companies or their clients, there is immeasurable damage done to their reputation as well as that of their clients. These hackers are proving to be very dangerous because they seem not interested in financial gain but humiliating and making these people suffer.
According to Joshua Corman, hacking gives one power. This leads to a hacker being motivated by all imaginable motivators of a human being, adds the executive of Sonatype which is a security software developer.
Corman notes that the AshleyMorgan.com hackers were not interested in the clients’ information they stole. For all they care, such information can be dumped in the public gallery if only to persuade companies to protect their clients’ privacy.
The impact of the release of the AshleyMadison.com clients’ data is not easy to determine fully as of now. However, almost immediately after the release of the damning information, Gawker alleged that Josh Duggar, a controversial family rights lawyer was mentioned in the list. He admitted to being unfaithful to his wife. Indeed the day of reckoning had finally come for many people. As Brian Kerbs, a security expert told a reporter, many Ashley Madison clients are contacting him daily wanting to know whether their names will be released.
The hackers of the AshleyMadison and its parent company Avid Life Media were bashed by the hackers as being stupid, deceitful and frauds. Impact Team as the hackers call themselves said that due to these companies’ recklessness, it had released the data for the world to see. The issuing of the later served as a last nail on the humiliation box the dating company had been put in. The hackers had thought this through and wanted it to come out as a continuing juicy news story.
When hacking started
Since the internet became used by all in the early 90s, hacking has always been around. Over the years, hacking has grown to take different approaches and methods. Initially, hacking was more like a virus which displayed a marijuana leaf on the PC monitor.
The earliest hacking online history was probably when hecklers, boards, forums and other types of people. They would gather personal information on people they disliked and then display it online to shame them. Jamie Bartlett puts it well in the book ‘The Dark Net’ when he writes that some of these hacking groups and individuals worked hard to be included in the list of banned accounts.