Safe and secure extramarital affair…think again.
Husbands and wives across the world are waking up to their partners’ extramarital affairs after, as AP calls it, a catastrophic leak at adultery website Ashley Madison spewed electronic evidence of infidelity across the Internet. Online forums were buzzing Thursday with users claiming to have found evidence that their significant others were on the site. But it’s not all doom and gloom…as Reuters notes many professions stand to benefit from the unfolding saga, from lawyers to therapists to cyber security firms. Prominent divorce lawyer Raoul Felder said the release is the best thing to happen to his profession since the seventh Commandment forbade adultery in the Bible, “I’ve never had anything like this before.”
Ashley Madison marketed itself as the premier venue for cheating spouses before data stolen by hackers started spreading across the Internet earlier this week. The prospect of finding the name of a loved one or an acquaintance amid the site’s more than 35 million registered members has drawn strong interest worldwide.
Websites devoted to checking emails against the leaked data appeared to be experiencing heavy traffic. Forums such as Reddit — the user-powered news and discussion site — carried stories of anguished husbands and wives confronting their partners after finding their data among the massive dump of information.
When the hosts of a morning show in Sydney, Australia, asked listeners to phone in if they wanted their spouse’s details run through the database, a woman called saying she was suspicious because her husband had been acting strangely since the news of the leak broke. The hosts plugged his details into a website and said they found a match.
“Are you serious? Are you freaking kidding me?” the woman asked, her voice shaking. “These websites are disgusting.” She then hung up.
Family law experts are divided on the likely offline impact of the leak, but Los Angeles-based divorce lawyer Steve Mindel predicted an uptick in business for him and his colleagues.
The benefits of the leak (via Reuters)…
The hacker attack has been a big blow to Toronto-based assignation website firm Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison and has indefinitely postponed the adultery site’s IPO plans. But many professions stand to benefit from the unfolding saga, from lawyers to therapists to cyber security firms.
Prominent divorce lawyer Raoul Felder said the release is the best thing to happen to his profession since the seventh Commandment forbade adultery in the Bible. “I’ve never had anything like this before,” he said.
The public embarrassment and emotional toll is likely to be enormous on unsuspecting people whose extra-marital affairs may have been exposed on the web or even whose emails were used without their knowledge to sign up for the site.
“These poor people will be dealing with it in such a public way. It will be absolutely devastating,” said Michele Weiner Davis, marriage therapist in Colorado and author of Divorce Busting.
The consequences of the leak (via Reuters)…
The data release could have severe consequences for U.S. service members if found to be real. Several tech websites reported that more than 15,000 email addresses were government and military ones.
Adultery, under certain criteria including the misuse of government time and resources, is a crime in the U.S. armed forces and can lead to dishonorable discharge or imprisonment.
“Fall on your sword if you want to save your relationship,” said Dr B. Janet Hibbs, a psychologist and couples therapist in Philadelphia. “Be prepared for them to ask a lot of questions, to not be defensive, to be compassionate.”