Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Ashley Madison data. Fake or Real?
Some talk this morning, notably by the company, that the "infidelity site", AshleyMadison.com hack dump of data yesterday, is fake.
On the surface, it looks very real.
Firstly, it has been leaked 30 days after the hack as promised so that's significant.
Secondly, the amount of data in the 35 GB file (compressed) of 33 million users, is in itself, more real. It's too much to make up and a fake release would tend to be smaller pots of data posted over time.
Thirdly, the level of data including profile information, credit transactional detail, email addresses and so on, is unusual to say the least, if it was false.
But more critically that perhaps of all that, the data dump included employee records, charts, contracts, sales data on the company, which really could only have come from the hack. It looks more like a full scale compromise.
Finally, those online who do know their stuff are generally looking at it and saying it is real.
Not unlike a company to raise the doubt to protect their (and their members) reputations but as people acknowledge (and many have this morning) that it is their genuine data, then company doubts will quickly evaporate.
Interesting though, that the data shows 14% were female and claims "a lot of fake female profiles"....hmmmm.
One thing for sure, it's going to cause a lot of hurt.
And that's not nice.