Thousands of people in Ireland may be feeling very worried right now as they could be about to be exposed as a cheat.
That is because the online group that hacked into affairs website Ashley Madison has made good on their threat and published the personal details of its members.
The website allows married users to find somebody they can cheat on their partner with. It has the motto: ‘Life is short, have an affair’.
While the morals of the statement may be shocking to many people, the site attracted tens of millions of users worldwide.
When news of the hack originally broke, it was revealed that Ireland has the third most members of the site per capita in Europe – and the tenth most in the world.
There are up to 115,000 Irish users, which is around 2.5% of the population. Now their names, numbers, email addresses and even sexual fanatasies have been published online.
The hackers, a group known as ‘The Impact Team’ gained access to personal details of members of Ashley Madison in July and threatened to publish them unless the site shut down.
A statement from The Impact Team at the time said: “We have taken over all systems in your entire office and production domains, all customer information databases, source code repositories, financial records, emails.
“Shutting down AM [Ashley Madison] and EM [Established Men] will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more: we will release all customer records, profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies, nude pictures, and conversations and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.”
The group has now carried out that threat after Ashley Madison and its associated site Established Men refused to shut down.
It is a worrying time for the company and its members.
It’s a far cry from earlier in the year when Ashley Madison released a graphic called the ‘global infidelity map’ to celebrate its members’ indiscretions.
The map showed that in terms of members per capita Ireland was only behind Switzerland and Spain in Europe. These countries had 3.9% and 2.7% respectively of their populations signed up to the site.
Worldwide the site is most popular in Canada (6.7% of the population being members), the USA (5.2%) and Australia (5.1%).
There will be nervous shifting going on all over the world in certain households for the next few weeks at least.