PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A website embroiled in controversy from its beginning has been hacked, and its 37 million users may have good reason to be a bit nervous.
The site brings together people who want to have affairs, and the hackers are threatening to expose the entire client base.READ MORE: Washington Man Killed In Late Night ATV Crash
The Ashley Madison website pulls no punches, it’s right there on the homepage: “Life is short, have an affair.” Over 13 years, they’ve accumulated 37.6 million users.
There is no way to know how many of the site’s clients live in Western Pennsylvania
While promising guaranteed privacy, Ashley Madison offers full delete – the option for $19 to erase you permanently from site. However, the hackers say the site is pocketing the money and not deleting the information.
So they’ve hacked in, copied all the files and are threatening to release it all if Ashley Madison doesn’t shut down, along with its companion site, EstablishedMen.com.
In Market Square, KDKA found some pretty strong opinions, primarily about the clients.
“I don’t think you should cheat, so if you are going to cheat, I think you should get caught,” said Mandy Witkowski, of Shaler.
“Put it out there, expose them,” says Charles Bonner. “It will surprise a lot of people because a lot of people don’t think they’re being cheated on, are being cheated on.”
We found some cheering on the hackers.READ MORE: Local Communities, Police Departments To Celebrate National Night Out
“I feel like it’s definitely justifiable, like it should be shut down,” said Deb McDowell, of Irwin.
“I definitely think it’s karma,” said Kayla Novoseo, of Irwin. “I feel like the people, it’s throwing it back in their face, people deserve to know who’s being cheated on.”
But mostly, there’s a lack of sympathy for those sweating it out the threat
“They are going behind people’s backs and trying to cheat and their information should be out,” said Emily Bujakowski, of Harrison City.
“I feel like if you’re putting your information out for people to see, then it’s out on the world wide web and people are going to see it,” said Ryleigh Vertes, of Murrysville.
“If you want to cheat and don’t want people to know it, maybe you should do it the old-fashioned way,” said Mariana Padias, of Lawrenceville.
The Ashley Madison website quickly hired and deployed some high-power web security experts and now says all the excerpts from the website that have been leaked have been taken down.
However, the “impact team,” as the hackers call themselves, still have the full database and could find another way to get it out there. Ashley Madison’s CEO believes it’s an inside job.MORE NEWS: Giant Eagle To Reinstitute Mask Requirements For Employees, Will Request Customers To Wear Masks Inside Stores