UPDATE 2-Hackers dump data online from cheating website Ashley Madison -reports

Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:32pm EDT
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(Updating with details throughout)

By Alastair Sharp and Josephine Mason

TORONTO Aug 18 (Reuters) - Hackers dumped online personal details of more than a million users of infidelity website AshleyMadison.com, tech websites reported on Tuesday, the latest high-profile cyber attack that threatens to wreak strife in relationships across the globe.

After threatening to release salacious details on as many as 37 million customers of the website, which uses the slogan "Life is short. Have an affair," hackers claimed to publish a huge cache of email addresses and credit card data stolen in July.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the posting. Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison and Established Men, widely described as a "sugar daddy site," did not verify the data was real, but said it was aware of the claim.

The hackers used the dark web which is only accessible using a specialized browser.

Still within hours, thousands of email addresses from North America and Europe including many linked to corporations and universities sprouted up on other sites as people decrypted the database. It is possible to create an Ashley Madison account using someone else's name and email.

The hackers have appointed themselves as "the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society," the company said in a statement.

"These are illegitimate acts that have real consequences for innocent citizens who are simply going about their daily lives," it said.   Continued...