The Ashley Madison hacking scandal has now brought two marquee names (though admittedly of a different stripe) into the fray.
The United Kingdom site The Register reported Monday (Sept. 7) that the two sites are being sued by three Ashley Madison customers for handling data that was stolen during the breach.
Known only as “John Does” (in other words, their identities remain secret), the plaintiffs have filed complaints against Amazon Web Services, GoDaddy and 20 “John Roes,” which are anonymous defendants, in the Arizona District Court, for allegedly “intentionally inflicting emotional distress upon Ashley Madison users.”
As has been widely reported, hackers known as the Impact Team grabbed data from the Ashley Madison site in July and then in August published the information they had pilfered. The data breach made headlines not just for the titillating nature of a website geared toward adultery, but in the wake of the disclosure, all manner of personal information was compromised. There were scattered incidences of suicide. Another three Americans in California, New Jersey and Maryland have claimed in their own suits against Web businesses that they have hosted data that had been held for public searches, for a fee.
As for what the plaintiffs in the Arizona case are seeking, at least $3 million in damages and losses and a jury trial, as they claim that the hack has exposed them to extortion threats. Other suits were filed in Canada in August.
In the latest suit, in addition to Amazon and GoDaddy, other defendants (not all of them) include John Roes identified as: the owner/operator of AshleyMadisonPowerSearch.com and AdulterySearch.com; the owner/operator of AshleyMadisonInvestigations.com; and the owner/operator of GreyHatPro.com. The other John Roes are listed as “unknown at this time” but are cited as persons or entities trafficking in stolen data. The Register reported that blackmail attempts had been successful in extorting $6,400.