Viewpoint – Cyber breach exposes more than extramarital affairs

Tabitha Redder/reporter

Infidelity and adultery have always lurked in dark corners as unmentionable taboos, but a recent cyber hack brought extramarital affairs into the limelight.

After the Canadian-based dating site Ashley Madison failed to meet hackers’ demands in July, 9.7 gigabytes of personal data was dumped into the deep web in August, possibly affecting over 30 million potential disloyal partners. A group calling itself Impact Team, the hackers responsible for the cyberattack, demanded the removal of Ashley Madison and Established Men, another site owned by Avid Media Group, while discrediting their privacy policies and clientele.

The breach included data from both sites. Email addresses, full names, encrypted passwords and payment details were released to the public and even more unfortunate for the users, their sexual interests and kinks were included, according to The Washington Post.

With most cyberattacks, one might feel violated or horrified, but this scandal continues to develop in the most interesting and disturbing way.

Impact Team proved that Ashley Madison didn’t fully delete customer information and close their profiles even after charging a $19 fee to do so. Ashley Madison was just pocketing those cancellation fees.

Additionally, when the hackers dumped the data online, they wrote, “the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles,” going on to describe 90-95 percent of the users as male. “Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to.”

Since the breach, The Washington Post reported that some 15,000 military and federal employee addresses were exposed. That means the users provided .gov or .mil email addresses to open an account, instead of creating an untraceable address via an email service like Google.

The International Business Times reported that email addresses were linked to the Vatican, NASA, the White House, the United Nations and even Saudi Arabia, where an affair can earn the death penalty.

This cyberattack blurs the line of privacy and society, but shouldn’t one be allowed to have an affair in their own home? Or in a cheap hotel room? Or online?

This is a scandal of many evils because one side isn’t more or less immoral than another. All three parties involved are at fault either for adultery, deceit or intrusion, and all for hypocrisy.

Life is short, don’t have an affair, maybe?