August 25, 2015 –
Toronto Police have given an in-depth 35-minute press conference to update people on the Ashley Madison hack and to let the hackers, known as Impact Team, know that they are now being hunted. Present at the press conference were representatives from the Toronto Police, Ontario Provincial Police, and the United States Department of Homeland Security. Highlights from the press conference were as follows (the full video of the press conference is provided further down the page):
SEE ALSO: Ashley Madison Scandal Expands
> The Toronto Police are working with the Ontario Provincial Police, FBI, US Department of Homeland Security, RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), Ministry of the Attorney General Criminal Law Office, and law enforcement groups around the world.
> Ashley Madison is owned by Avid Life Media. Avid Life Media runs several sites in the “dating” category. Avid Life Media is based out of Canada and is most known for Ashley Madison (AM) and a second site, Established Men (EM).
> The name of the investigation into the Ashley Madison hack is “Project Unicorn.”
> On July 12, employees of Avid Life Media arrived to work and found, when turning on their computers, a threatening message appeared saying, in part, “We are the Impact Team. We have taken over all systems in your entire office and production domains, all customer information databases, source code repositories, financial records, emails. Shutting down AM and EM will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more.” The group demanded that Ashley Madison and Established Men be shut down permanently.
> On July 19, the hackers release information on two users to prove that they were serious.
> On August 17, the Impact Team released the entire Ashley Madison client list – more than 30 million members worldwide. They did not release the information from Established Men. A message accompanied the release titled Time’s Up!
> A third message was received from Impact Team on August 20 and was directed to the CEO of Avid Life Media, Noel Biderman. The message said, “Hey, Noel. You can admit it’s real now.” Accompanying the message was another download containing Noel’s past emails.
> The investigation has found “no wrongdoing” of Avid Life Media. The investigators say Avid Life Media has been fully cooperative.
> The Ashley Madison hack is one of the largest ever. It is also unique because of the target.
> The ripple effect will have long term social and economic impacts. It will also spawn further criminal activity including extortion attempts and scams against people whose email addresses were released along with two suicides believed to be tied to the Ashley Madison revelations.
> Personal information released by the Impact Team include names, some credit card information, billing details, home addresses, and transaction records. Other info released includes emails, usernames, and other user details.
> The following was directed, by police, to the hackers: “Team Impact, I want to make it very clear to you. Your actions are illegal and we will not be tolerated. This is a wake-up call. We are now doing a serious investigation, inviting all our partnerships from around the world to assist us in the investigations… We have highly skilled investigators and the investigation is proceeding in a positive fashion.” An appeal was then made to other hackers for their help.
> Avid Life Media is offering a $500,000 (Canadian) reward for information leading to the identification, arrest, and prosecution of those responsible for the hack.$500,000 Reward for the identity of the Ashley Madison hackers. Click To Tweet
Ashley Madison Press Conference