Duggar on affair-seeking site?: Josh Duggar Ashley Madison
Published: August 20, 2015
Duggar on affair-seeking site?: Josh Duggar Ashley Madison, Vatican workers, Big Apple bureaucrats, an English Parliamentarian – and at least one reality TV star – are among those being outed for looking for love in all the wrong places, according to stolen data posted online from the cheaters’ site Ashley Madison.
Dirty details of the site’s more than 36 million users emerged Wednesday after hackers accused the site of being a fraud and made good on a threat to expose users if it wasn’t shut down.
They published the data to the so-called “Dark Web,” a corner of the Internet accessible only by using a special browser.
The hackers, who go by the name The Impact Team, have accused the company of creating fake female profiles for its 90 percent male user base and keeping account information on file even after people paid $19 to have it completely deleted.
Nearly 10 gigabytes of data was dumped Tuesday night, including customer’s names, personal IP addresses, street addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases, sexual preferences.
Duggar allegedly paid $986.75 during his two-year subscription to the cheating website.Photo: Getty Images
Boldface names implicated in the breach include disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar – accused of molesting five minors – who signed up using a credit card linked to a billing address that matches his grandmother’s home in Fayetteville, Ark., according to Gawker.
The married man, who was at one time executive director of the Family Research Council, allegedly paid $986.75 during his two-year subscription, the site reported, noting that his interests included “conventional sex,” “experimenting with sex toys,” “one-night stands,” and “cuddling & hugging.”
The massive list also includes email addresses belonging to big companies and banks, like Bank of America, JP Morgan, Amazon and Boeing.
One American banker said he signed up for the site because he had a “sex drive too high to handle,” The Telegraph reported.
“I need someone who is more sexual,” he said. “I need someone who is willing to try anything.”
A Canadian who listed a government phone number described his sexual fantasies, saying, “I love it when I’m called and told I have 15 minutes to get to someplace where I’ll be greeted at the door with a surprise – maybe lingerie, nakedness,” Wired reported.
Locally, 27 people used email addresses registered to the Department of Education, and three each from the Fire Department and Parks Department. In all, some 15,000 people registered their accounts using emails linked to military and government servers, including the NSA and the Department of Justice.
But it remains unclear how many of the email addresses are legitimate, considering the Ashley Madison site doesn’t verify user information – and customers have good reason to hide their identities.
British Parliamentarian Michelle Thomson spoke out Wednesday, saying her email address was stolen and used on the site.
“Along with potentially millions of others, an out-of-use email address seems to have been harvested by hackers,” the married politico said.
Other users have outed themselves as well. Piers Morgan’s journalist wife admitted signing up for the site – in the name of research.
Celia Walden, 39, said she signed up several years ago while working on an article about the website’s founder, Noel Biderman, she said Wednesday, according to the Express.
An email address belonging to Israeli-Arab politician Taleb Abu Arar was also in the database – but he denied having any connection to Ashley Madison, according to The Jersualem Post.
Cybersecurity expert Robert Graham noticed the website’s clientele skews heavily toward males – with 28 million men to 5 million women, according to the database’s “gender” field. Two million users were of “undetermined” gender.
For men, finding a date on Ashley Madison is even harder than it looks – because the site is littered with profiles for fake females, insiders have said.
Toronto resident Doriana Silva claimed in a 2012 lawsuit she was paid $34,000 to write 1,000 Portuguese-language profiles for fake females on a Brazilian version of the site.
And many online reviewers have griped about getting strung along by beautiful make-believe women.
Divorce lawyers say the breach is great for their business.
“I think therapists will be busy first and it will ultimately trickle down to us,” said Manhattan divorce attorney Jacqueline Newman.
“This is going to be something that will not only be destroying marriages, but it will also be destroying businesses and other things like that. The ramifications are going to be pretty significant.”
Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media, confirmed that some of the data is “legitimate” – but that no one’s credit card data has been exposed.
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