Just like a bad breakup, the Ashley Madison hack isn't over just yet. Paying members of the "dating site for cheaters" are now reporting a rash of extortion attempts.
One man, identified by the New York Post only as John, claims he was shocked when he opened an email with the subject line: "You got busted." What was in the body of the email was even more troubling:
“Unfortunately your data was leaked in the recent hacking of Ashley Madison and I know [sic] have your information. ... I have also used your user profile to find your Facebook page, using this I can now message all of your friends and family members.”
The email also demanded 2 bitcoin, which is almost equivalent to $500. If John doesn't pay up within three days, his wife, family and friends would all be notified about his account.
John didn't take the bait. He consulted with reputation-management firm Status Labs and decided not to pay the ransom.
Because of the techniques used, experts think it's not likely that these extortionists are part of the Impact Team, aka the Ashley Madison hackers. It's more likely that these extortionists are either Russian mob or Nigerian scammers and are very unlikely to make good on their threats.
From the New York Post:
Says Status Labs president Darius Fisher: “It’s simple to switch your privacy settings, but it’s important to remember that these extortionists, like all scammers and spammers, are playing a numbers game. ... If they scare even one or two people into paying up, it’s a big payday for them.”