Monday, July 20, 2015

"Cheaters never prosper" . . .

. . . or so the old proverb claims, anyway.  It seems that applies to marital cheaters as well.

Ashley Madison, the website for people seeking extramarital affairs, has suffered a major cyber attack, with hackers threatening to expose the names of adulterers unless the site is taken offline.

The controversial online dating company, which has 37.5m users – including 1.2m Britons – carries the tagline: “Life Is Short. Have An Affair”. The service is founded on confidentiality and privacy, claiming to be a "100pc discreet service" and boasting a "Trusted Security Award" on its homepage.

The hackers, going by the name “The Impact Team”, posted a small sample of sensitive data (since taken offline), along with a statement demanding the takedown of Ashley Madison and Established Men, an online dating site that claims to connect "young, beautiful women with successful men".

Avid Life Media, the company that owns Ashley Madison, confirmed the hack and apologised for "this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers' information".

"We have always had the confidentiality of our customers' information foremost in our minds, and have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world," the company said in a statement.

"As other companies have experienced, these security measures have unfortunately not prevented this attack to our system."

. . .

If their demands are not met, the hackers are threatening to "release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails”.

There's more at the link.

I can't help feeling a certain schadenfreude at the prospect.  In the case of spouses who've been cheating their trusting partners, it's no more than they deserve.  However, I'm also very sad to think of the number of otherwise sound relationships that will be destroyed if this happens.

When I was active as a pastor, I often encountered individuals who'd strayed from the path of marital fidelity as an isolated mistake, usually under circumstances such as a business trip where alcohol was involved in after-hours celebrations.  I tried to help the individuals concerned, but usually advised them not to tell their spouses unless they were absolutely sure their marriage was rock-solid enough to survive it.  In most cases where the truth came out, the breach of trust ended up breaking the relationship as well.

(Of course, that didn't apply if the guilty party was a serial adulterer, or was involved in a long-term consensual sexual relationship, deliberately and cold-bloodedly cheating on his/her spouse.  If an individual was that far gone in lying, deceit and dishonesty, I tended to feel that they'd brought on their own heads whatever happened to them.  I was far more sorry for their partner, who was invariably deeply hurt and traumatized when the facts came out - as they inevitably did.)

As for those who patronize Web sites like Ashley Madison, I can only remind them of the words of Jesus, echoed in almost every major religion and philosophy of life on Earth:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  If I set out to deliberately cheat on and be unfaithful to my spouse, I have only myself to blame if that comes back to bite me and destroy my relationship with her.  To quote another idiom, "What goes around, comes around".



George said...

I am shocked that any of the customers of this site would be so naive to believe that their information was safe. I always wondered if this site was really set up by foreign intelligence service to get great blackmail data.

Anonymous said...

A funny (or not so funny) result is that the adulterer often becomes paranoid that their spouse is cheating on them.

Anonymous said...

The truth for 90% of the human race is " do unto others; then split". Sorry man , but the favorite pastime for the bulk of the human population is "badness". They only care when caught. When they organize the badness they call it war. That is THE #1 all time favorite sport of humans. As the most insane and honest man I have ever known always said. "Its not called I cheat; Its called I win". People "F" up. All the time , every day. They live in the moment,for the "feel good" and they are going to screw around no matter what any group of moral Nazi do gooders think about it. They always have and always will. The bulk of the world is, and always was, pagan. The enforced (and forced) veneer of "Christian morality" has been getting thin ever since child sacrifice(abortion) was reintroduced to society in the 70's. When people DON'T CARE if they "go to Hell" the rest comes easy.----Ray--- P.S. Hell is the name of the Pagan Norse goddess of the underworld. Like about 80% of "western religion" it never had anything to do with the gods of the middle east. It like so much else was usurped by the Catholic Church.

Comrade Misfit said...

I prefer the Jewish version: "Don't do unto others that which is hateful to yourself." Or, as my uncles would have said: "Be a mensch."

genericviews said...

I am always interested in teh business models of such places. It seems AM gets its primary source of revenues from maried men who have zero chances of matching and meeting a woman on the AM site. So, those men are risking getting caught and not getting any of the benefits of the sin. Only the select few tall, muscular, bankers get the women on AM. And there aren't many women to go around, like on most hookup sites. So the business model is to attract a bunch of suckers who will pay the fees, and get nothing in return. Stories of getting lots of "winks", "nods", and "this person in interested in you" before you pay their membership fee and discovering all those "people" evaporate once you pay the fees. Total scam.

Of course, like, ladies night at most bars, it's a good deal for the ladies. Lots of men to pick from. Almost no competition.

Bruce said...

Lots of men to pick from...if you happen to be interested in a relationship with someone that you 100% know will screw around on you. Sorry, can't see the draw for this for anything other than a "hook-up" with a guaranteed, discoverable (as in a subpoena) paper trail of your infidelity.

genericviews said...

"...if you happen to be interested in a relationship with someone that you 100% know will screw around on you."

What part of "barfly" did you not understand?

Technomad said...

According to Maggie McNeill (the Honest Courtesan; she has a blog) AM is about 90% or more pure scam. They lure men in but very few of the women they list actually exist.

Sam Hall said...

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

No, No, No. You are talking about doing something to a person without their consent. You don't have the right to do things to another person just because you would like them to do it to you.

The Jewish version is better:
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."

—Talmud, Shabbat 31a

Old joke. A den mother asked her cub scouts if they had done their good deed for the day. They answered saying "yes, we helped a old lady across the steet." "all of you?" Yes, she didn't want to go.