Just when you thought the Ashley Madison soap opera couldn't get soapier, there's another twist in the ongoing hack. Now, the site for married people with the tagline, "Life is short. Have an affair," is suspected of trying to hack one of its competitors.
To backtrack, Ashley Madison last month was hacked by a group calling itself the Impact Team. Those hackers gave Ashley Madison a month to shut down the site, or else.
That "or else" turned out to be the very real release of personal information from Ashley Madison's 37 million subscribers. The fallout has been quick, including some reality stars, religious leaders and politicians publicly apologizing to their spouses for having Ashley Madison accounts. There also have been denials from high-profile personalities, who say they don't know how their email addresses got on the site.
There has been some very serious, real-life fallout from the leaks, too. That includes extortion, blackmail and possibly suicides.
Recently, the hackers upped their game by releasing private information from executives at Ashley Madison's parent company, Avid Life Media. Now, the Canadian company's CEO Noel Biderman is suspected of trying in the past to hack a competitor, Nerve.com.
That comes courtesy of more private information released by the Impact Team. Some of the emails that the hackers released, including a conversation between Biderman and Ashley Madison's founding Chief Technology Officer Raja Bhatia, is about a vulnerability on the Nerve.com site. Biderman suggested Bhatia break in, according to reports.
But Bhatia wouldn't hack Nerve.com, although he was able to access almost everything about Nerve's users, including their emails and whether or not they paid for their membership. From the email exchange, it seems, Biderman was willing to try to hack the site himself.
Today, ALM has said that the conversation about Nerve.com was taken out of context. Legally, the Impact Team is the bad guy here. In fact, among the groups trying to find them are the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Toronto Police Services.