People who went to sites to check if their names or email addresses were among those included in the hack, soon found that their information have been compromised and that hackers have sent malignant software to their email accounts.
The lawsuits were filed by people who had signed up to Ashley Madison in California, Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee and Minnesota.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by a man identified as John Doe, seeks class-action status. They also allege negligence, privacy violations, and breach of contract.
© Mark Blinch / Reuters/REUTERS Avid Life Media offered a $377,000 reward to anyone with information on the hacker or hackers responsible for the data breach.
The Impact Team said that the site was a scam and the profiles of women they feature were fake.
At least two individuals reportedly residing in Canada appeared to have committed suicide following disclosure that they were among the millions of subscribers to Ashley Madison, an extramarital dating website whose private accounts were hacked and publicly exposed recently.
It said: “Nerve was exploring strategic partnerships in May of 2012 and reached out to Noel to determine Avid Life Media’s interest in the property”.
“Right now, any site that purports you can search for yourself or anyone else [on Ashley Madison] is illegitimate”, said Alex McGeorge, head of threat intelligence at Immunity Inc., a cyber security firm based in Miami, Florida. The lawsuits have been filed for the disastrous effects of such information having been made public by hackers which the website administrators were unable to prevent.
However, others have since posted sections of the alleged list, including names and postcodes, more generally online.
The hackers said they attacked Ashley Madison after the site collected $19 from users to erase their data, but failed to do so.
McAfee also claims that the person who stole the information was a “lone female employee”. It has said that the personal details exposed in the initial data leak can’t be used to prove the infidelity of their clients.
Although some data does seem to have been retained, the report by the Register implies that a significant amount of information was removed after payment.