Are you a little nervous after hearing the news that the Ashley Madison hackers have dumped their stolen data today? There are a few different ways to check if your email address is included in the hack.
Hackers from a group known as Impact Team who claim to have stolen data from Ashley Madison posted nearly 10-gigabytes of said stolen data yesterday. That includes member email addresses, credit card transactions, and even profiles. The data can be found on the dark web, and those who’ve already downloaded it say they’re finding all kinds of juicy gossip.
Naming and shaming people sucks, but it's worth preparing yourself for an awkward conversation with your partner at the very least by checking if your email is included in the data dump.
There are a few different tools that have been set up to help you check if your address is part of the hack.
HaveIBeenPwned? is actually doing users a solid and making the Ashley Madison hack confirmations two-step. Only those who have signed up for email notifications and verified their email addresses will be able to figure out if they're part of the Ashley Madison hack. Troy Hunt, the guy who set up HaveIBeenPwned? said that he set it up this way as the discovery of someone's spouse on the service could have serious consequences:
There’s no escaping the human impact of it. The discovery of one’s spouse in the data could have serious consequences. The stress inflicted on individuals that they may now be “found out” could be significant. Yes, there’s the whole ethical issue of Ashley Madison’s purpose and certainly there’s a lot of very unsympathetic commentary out there, but morals and views of relationship statuses are much more complex than simply concluding that everyone in the dump “deserved it”.
The second issue is that Ashley Madison doesn't have a two-step process for adding email addresses to its database. That means people could have signed up someone else's email address — meaning it gets entered into the now-leaked database — and still have it show up in the hack despite the fact that they weren't actively using an account.
Then there's the issue of whether or not the data is real! Security researchers disagree on the authenticity of the hack, but regardless, it's going to do some real damage to some people's relationships.
Use these tools carefully.