Ashley Madison Website Scandal: Master Hacker Dies Before Attack, Victims Suffer From Data Leak
More and more details about the cracker’s unusual double life have surfaced since his death.
Website Ashley Madison, which specialized in dating for married people who want to cheat on their spouses, became the target of one of the most high-profile hacker attacks in history. In 2015, an unknown group called the Impact Team hacked into the site and released the personal details of millions of its users, including names, addresses, emails, and even sexual fantasies.
This security breach caused a huge scandal and serious consequences for many of the site’s customers, who were at risk of blackmail, exposure, and even suicide. According to some reports, more than 30 people committed suicide due to compromised data. Famous people whose names were found in the Ashley Madison database included actor Josh Duggar from the reality show 19 Kids One Family, former Gawker director Josh McIntosh, and even Vatican spokesman Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda.
However, the most shocking discovery was that the main suspect in the hacker attack – 32-year-old Canadian programmer Jason Hansen – committed suicide in 2014, that is, a year before the attack on the site. About it informed well-known journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs.
According to Krebs, he gained access to a police file on Hansen, who was found dead in his Toronto apartment on December 23, 2014. The cause of death was a drug overdose. The dossier also contained evidence that Hansen was the leader of the Impact Team hacker group that claimed responsibility for the Ashley Madison hack.
Krebs claims that Hansen was a master at creating false online identities and used various aliases for his hacking activities. He has also been linked to other criminal activities such as malware distribution, bitcoin theft, and blackmail.
Krebs urges the police to continue investigating the Ashley Madison break-in and find out who Hansen’s accomplices were and how they were able to use his computers and accounts after his death. He also expresses his condolences to Hansen’s family and friends who were unaware of his double life.
In 2023, the documentary The Ashley Madison Affair was released, which tells the ins and outs of the Ashley Madison website, its creator Noel Biderman and his scandalous personal life, as well as the hacker group Impact Team and its motives. The movie is available to watch on Hulu. The film shows how the Ashley Madison website has become a symbol of treason, lies and risk in the modern world of the Internet.