Ottawa, the city fun forgot, tops on infidelity website

Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:30pm EDT
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By Leah Schnurr

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's prim capital is suddenly focused more on the state of people's affairs than the affairs of the state.

One in five Ottawa residents allegedly subscribed to adulterers' website Ashley Madison, making one of the world's coldest capitals among the hottest for extra-marital hookups - and the most vulnerable to a breach of privacy after hackers targeted the site.

Hackers threatened to leak details including the credit card information, nude photos, sexual fantasies and real names of as many as 37 million customers worldwide of Ashley Madison, which uses the slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair."

The website's Canadian parent, Avid Life Media, said it had since secured the site and was working with law enforcement agencies to trace those behind the attack.

"Everybody says Ottawa is a sleepy town and here we are with 200,000 people running around on each other," said municipal employee Jon Weaks, 27, as he took a break at an outdoor cafe near the nation's Parliament.

"I think a lot of people will be questioned tonight at dinner," added colleague Ali Cross, 28.

Some 189,810 Ashley Madison users were registered in Ottawa, a city with a population of about 883,000, making the capital No. 1 for philanderers in Canada and potentially the highest globally per capita, according to previously published figures from the Toronto-based company.

The one bright spot for millions of Ashley Madison's nervous clients is that the hack appears to be an inside job, according to police and intelligence sources. Avid Life has also said it is convinced the hackers were formerly connected to the company.   Continued...

The homepage of the Ashley Madison website is displayed on an iPad, in this photo illustration taken in Ottawa, Canada July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie