20 August 2015

Ashley Madison Hack Data Goes Live………

I think that a fair amount of thought went into the how it was released, which is why is why they released the data on BitTorrent:
Gigabytes worth of data taken during last month's hack of the Ashley Madison dating website for cheaters has been published online—an act that could be highly embarrassing for the men and women who have used the service over the years.

A 10-gigabyte file containing e-mails, member profiles, credit-card transactions and other sensitive Ashley Madison information became available as a BitTorrent download in the past few hours. Ars downloaded the massive file and it appeared to contain a trove of details taken from a clandestine dating site, but so far there is nothing definitively linking it to Ashley Madison. User data included e-mail addresses, profile descriptions, addresses provided by users, weight, and height. A separate file containing credit card transaction data didn't include full payment card numbers or billing addresses.
The way that BitTorrent works is that someone puts a file up, and as people download it, they each get a little bit of the file, and then share it amongst themselves, which means two things:
  • There is not a central server to get hammered.
  • Once the whole file is loaded into this distributed network, it takes a long time for it becomes unavailable, because multiple copies of the various bits float around the impromptu network.
In fact, the protocol was developed to help with software firms that saw their servers hammered when they made popular new releases.

After the release, of course, it was applied to songs, movies, bootleg software, etc.

See the picture below for a graphic of how this all works.

It has already outed one prominent Christofascist asshole, who I will not name, because he is on my list of They Who Must Not be Named, so I will experience my Schadenfreude privately.


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