#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Ashley Madison customers fall victim to new ‘sextortion’ scams five years after the cyber breach

ashley madison customers have fallen victim to new ‘sextortion’ scams five years on from the initial cyber breach that exposed 37 million users of the cheating website.

Email security company Vade Secure said that some victims of the 2015 hack are now the target of new scams, where fraudsters demand the individual coughs up $1,000 in exchange for their silence, CNBC reported.

The website provides matchmaking for people who are married or in relationships and are looking to have an affair.

In July 2015, ashley madison was targeted by hackers and the details of users were stolen and later leaked online. 

ashley madison customers have fallen victim to new ‘sextortion’ scams five years on from the initial cyber breach that exposed users of the cheating website (above)

More than 37 million individuals had their affairs and sexual fantasies exposed when hackers calling themselves the ‘Impact Team’ stole their personal details in one of the biggest cyber breaches at the time. 

The extramarital activities of some politicians and celebrities using the website were also exposed.

Hackers alleged the attack was designed to be a retaliation against ashley madison’s then owner Avid Life Media after it used bots to pose as real women on the site. One month after the hack, the company announced its chief executive Noel Biderman had left.

Divorce lawyers dubbed the scandal ‘Christmas in September’, after the publication of the details saw hundreds of relationships fall apart. 

The cyber attack has even been linked to three suicides – two in Canada and one in the United States – following the level of the intrusion into some individuals’ lives.   

Five years on, Vade Secure said new scams are springing up targeting people whose details were leaked. 

One month after the hack, ashley madison’s then owner Avid Life Media announced its chief executive Noel Biderman (above) had left the company

The website provides matchmaking for people who are married or in relationships and are looking to have an affair. In July 2015, ashley madison was targeted by hackers and the details of users were stolen and later leaked online 

Chief Product Officer for Vade Secure Adrien Gendre said scammers are targeting victims of the breach in emails by using their stolen credentials to demand payment. 

According to CNBC, the scam emails are well researched and contain real information about the user such as their email addresses, when they signed up to the scam, their username, security answers and the sexual interests they entered on the site.  

One message shows that scammers are blackmailing individuals by threatening to expose private messages sent via the cheating website to their friends and families. 

‘FOR ALL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS?’ one message reads. 

‘Of all the private massages you sent to members, the reply you sent on Sunday July 31, 2011 was the best. Perv!’

The fraudsters are demanding victims pay up around $1,000 in bitcoin to prevent them posting the information. 

Email security company Vade Secure (left) said that some victims of the 2015 hack were now being targeted in new scams. Chief Product Officer Adrien Gendre (right) said scammers are targeting victims of the breach in emails by using their stolen credentials to demand payment in exchange for their silence

Gendre warned victims to not give in to demands in what he said was a new version of the common ‘sextortion’ scam. 

Sextortion scams are where scammers send emails to thousands of people saying they have incriminating images or videos of them and demand payment to prevent them being published or sent to the victim’s contacts.

Typically the incriminating images do not exist but the hope is that someone will fall for the trick and pay up. 

Gendre said the ashley madison scam is more sophisticated because it uses at least some real information.  

News of the scam comes as a Republican GOP candidate faced calls to withdraw after he admitted to having an account on the cheating website. 

In January, Joe Dills, Ohio’s Republican GOP candidate, admitted to setting up an ashley madison account in 2013, but insisted he was single at the time and had not met anyone through the site, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. 

Dills’ campaign has largely focused on him being a family man.

News of the scam comes as a Republican GOP candidate faced calls to withdraw after he admitted to having an account on the cheating website this month. Joe Dills, Ohio’s Republican GOP candidate, admitted to setting up an ashley madison account in 2013, but insisted he was single at the time and had not met anyone through the site

 

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