Ashley Madison Hack Can Lead to Leak of Classified Information
The data of Ashley Madison got leaked recently where hackers managed to get their hands on over 37 million email addresses. These emails belonged to the people who had registered on the Toronto-based adultery website. After the Ashley Madison leak, the threat is that the hackers might release that information to public or might threaten the users for ransom in exchange for keeping their information a secret.
The Need of the Hour
Security expert are urging that companies that they should investigate their own employees and find out if one of them was using these sites. By doing this, they will be able to single them out and will potentially save them a whole world of trouble. If the hackers get to them first, then there’s no telling what they might do in exchange for keeping all the data secret. One of the security firms’ IT expert Stephen Coty explains how this process can be beneficial for everyone.
“Companies who have threat research and intelligence analysts should be looking at this data to see what user names or email addresses are related to their organisation,” Coty said. “They should modify their email filters to start monitoring any emails coming through that reference Ashley Madison, so that they can find if somebody is trying to coerce an employee to go ahead and release company secrets.”
Affected Government Officials
The experts are focusing on singling out the people affected from this debacle because more than 1400 government officials have been compromised, which of course is not a good sign. These government officials consist of all kinds of people – some of which carry sensitive information. After the hack, the possibility is that the hackers will look for these people and extort information out of them, which then can be used in a lot of different ways. Classified information is kept classified for a reason, and if by chance, it gets leaked, not a lot of people would be happy. This is a major security concern after the recent attack at Ashley Madison, and officials are working day in and day out to ensure that all of the classified information and all the people that possess that information stay safe in any given circumstance.
Experts Weigh In on the Situation
Experts following and analyzing the Ashley Madison debacle closely are of the opinion that the attack on the adultery website was not motivated by blackmail. Rather, the hacker or hackers were more interesting in fishing for information and then selling it in the black market.
“If I’m a malicious actor, I’m not really interested in blackmailing these guys for money; I’m more interested in where they work, in their corporate information. To me that is more valuable. I can sell that on an underground market, I can sell it to a competitor, to a startup overseas, and make a lot more money than blackmailing a guy for a few thousand dollars.”
The situation is extremely dire as a lot of people’s lives are on the line. However, hackers are more interested in people who can provide them with classified information. If they succeed in their endeavor then the things could get pretty ugly for a whole lot of people.