Every day a new headline seems to signal that another company has been hacked. Some of the biggest brands have fallen victim to fraud, including Sony, Target, JP Morgan, EBay, Premera Blue Cross, the U.S. Postal Service, Staples, Dairy Queen, Home Depot, and the list goes on. (I’m afraid this list has only just begun to grow.)
The 2015 Identity Fraud Study reported that $16 million was stolen from 12.7 million people in 2014. While the number of consumers affected by fraud in 2014 dropped from 2013’s statistics (13.1 million), the odds of theft are still high. In fact, chances are the highest where the population is dense, which is unfortunate for Florida, Washington, and Oregon, the states that ranked highest on the list.
Hack of the Week
With these statistics, it’s no surprise that AshleyMadison.com, an online dating service for married people who want to have an affair, starred in this week’s episode of “Hacked: Who’s Next?” (Not a real show. Humor me, people.) But what may be more horrifying for Ashley Madison’s secret users is the idea that their information is floating in limbo, waiting to knock on their spouse’s door to scream, “Surprise! I’m cheating…”
Uncovering the Truth
After hearing this news, I cared less about the issues of cybersecurity and began to contemplate two questions: 1) does karma really exist? and 2) what sick person would dream up this site (and how could they possibly defend themselves)?
To answer question one, I’m not sure. And neither is the internet… but either way, I’d say this is as close to karma as one could hope to get. As far as question number two, the founder and CEO of Ashley Madison is Noel Biderman. And yes, he’s married.
The company’s motto is “Life is short. Have an affair,” but they claim NOT to encourage cheating. “If you are having difficulty with your relationship, you should seek counseling,” the site states. Great advice… but then it continues. “However, if you still feel that you will seek a person other than your partner to fill your unmet needs, then we truly believe that our service is the best place to start.” I’m confused. That sounds like encouragement to me. And who actually plans to cheat? Now that’s messed up.
Biderman revealed his own thoughts on infidelity in an interview with CNBC. “Undiscovered cheating is good,” he said. As opposed to what? Discovered cheating? He added, “Cheating is like the secret glue that keeps millions of marriages together. I would cheat before I would leave.” Yikes, that’s a scary thought. And double yikes… I would be terrified to be his wife.
But why do people cheat?
Later in the interview, the CEO (whose net worth is $100 million) explained that men look to the site as a way to fulfill their sexual desires while women stray in an attempt to get attention and become an object of desire once again.
Upon reading this, my friend asked me a valid question: “If some dude on this site only wants sex, how would that make a women feel better than she is already feeling?” Good question.
A Job Well Done
In the end, identity theft and cyber security are serious issues that have caused significant damage to both businesses and individuals. But somehow, this time it feels more deserved. I say, “Nice work, karma. That’s a job well done.”
What do you think of Ashley Madison? Was the attack deserved?
Featured photo via patch.com