Hacking of website potentially exposes thousands of cheaters

The end of a marriage is usually a highly upsetting and emotional time for most couples, regardless of the circumstances that led to the split. Divorce legal issues, such as child custody, property division and alimony, often add fuel to the fire – especially if they are contested. A divorce dispute may be especially traumatic if one spouse found out the other had been cheating. This is, unfortunately, a common reason for couples in Atlantic City, as well as across the country, to end their relationships.

A recent, highly-publicized incident is illustrating the sheer scope of infidelity in marriages not just in the United States, but worldwide. A group of hackers broke into a dating website owned by Avid Life Media, a company that operates numerous Internet dating sites. The site in question was Ashley Madison, a service marketed specifically to those interested in having extramarital affairs.

The hackers published online the email address of millions of Ashley Madison customers, including high-profile business executives and government officials in the United States and United Kingdom. Approximately 37 million customers around the world were allegedly outed through this major security breach.

Those on both sides are suffering the consequences. As the spouses who were being cheated on feel betrayal, anger and heartbreak, those whose information was hacked may be experiencing public embarrassment, outrage and remorse. Some, such as a British civil servant, claim their email addresses were used by others to register at the site without their knowledge.

The ramifications of this data breach remain to be seen. It is not unreasonable to expect a spike in family law services as people discover their partners’ names listed as customers of the cheating website.

Source: Reuters, “Hacker’s Ashley Madison data dump threatens marriages, reputations,” Josephine Mason and Alastair Sharp, Aug 19, 2015

Date Published: February 7, 2017

Written by: Cooper Levenson, P.A.

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