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After hackers who call themselves the Impact Team released their first big data dump from Ashley Madison and its parent company on Tuesday, journalists and others have been poring over it, exposing reality TV star Josh Duggar as a confirmed customer, as well as several unidentified government workers who accessed their Ashley Madison accounts from government IP addresses.But the latest dump, released Thursday and today, could prove to be more embarrassing and harmful to Ashley Madison's business than its customers.For that minimum price, you got 100 credits, which were redeemed each time you read a message, at five credits per message, or for other activities.For 30 credits, you got a 30-minute chat session with potential sex partners.The Impact Team, asked if they planned to target other web sites, told Motherboard they would target "any companies that make 100s of millions profiting off pain of others, secrets, and lies.Maybe corrupt politicians [too]."But before we get ahead of the headlines, let's examine some of the most important lingering questions about Ashley Madison and the hack.
For a company that had hoped to raise 0 million for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange this fall, that's a potentially big blow."With this second data dump, I believe Impact Team wants to destroy Ashley Madison and Avid Life Media," says Per Thorsheim, a security researcher in Norway who has been analyzing the data. In an interview with Motherboard, the hackers said they have 300 GB of employee emails in their possession, plus tens of thousands of Ashley Madison user pictures as well as user messages."1/3 of pictures are dick pictures and we won't dump," they told Motherboard. Maybe other executives."None of this bodes well for other companies who may engage in practices that hackers don't like.
And records indicating the last login dates for Ashley Madison customers show July 11 as the final day they signed in, suggesting the hackers grabbed no customer data after this.
The recent dates don't mean the hackers weren't in the company's network for longer than this, however—the amount and variety of data grabbed and the number of servers from which they took it indicate they did extensive reconnaissance to map the network and figure out where valuable data was located.
Eriksson wouldn't say how the hackers got in, due to the ongoing investigation, but he noted "there is no indication of any software vulnerability being exploited during this incident."The hackers from Impact Team told Motherboard, "We worked hard to make fully undetectable attack, then got in and found nothing to bypass…. It was definitely a person here that was not an employee but certainly had touched our technical services."Eriksson wouldn't go into detail, but told WIRED that even though there is no evidence that the attackers used a software vulnerability to get in, "all ALM source code is being audited for vulnerabilities and backdoors." He added that "all aspects of their network and server environment are now being thoroughly reviewed in order to determine how they may be hardened further, and the amount and granularity of monitoring is being increased in order to detect and handle any anomaly as soon as possible."With the site's source code and network blueprints already released by the hackers, however, the company is now in a race to find and close vulnerabilities before other attackers can find and exploit them.
In the initial manifesto the attackers published last month, and in the interview with Motherboard, they said they had been in Avid Life Media's servers for years."We have hacked them completely, taking over their entire office and production domains and thousands of systems, and over the past few years have taken all customer information databases, complete source code repositories, financial records, documentation, and emails, as we prove here," they wrote. For a company whose main promise is secrecy, it's like you didn't even try, like you thought you had never pissed anyone off."Eriksson wouldn't tell WIRED exactly when the hackers struck, but timestamps around the released files suggest a lot of the data theft occurred recently, rather than over a number of years—if the timestamps are reliable.