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And as CNNMoney has revealed in the past the company kept on file the sensitive information of long-gone customers -- such as their names, contact information, and sexual preferences -- even though those people had paid $19 for a "full delete" of their profiles.
"Hey Noel, you can admit it's real now," the attackers taunted Biderman in a message included with the second dump.But he says he does not allow people to search for the presence of the email addresses in the Ashley Madison dump, and he has not been naming the Ashley Madison dump when alerting related victims, given the sensitive nature of the information.That sensitivity is reflected by a report of what may be the first suicide tied to the breach.Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the Executive Editor, Data Breach Today and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for Information Week and a frequent contributor to Dark Reading, amongst other publications. Government investigators in New York State and elsewhere found that Ashley Madison created fake dating profiles that duped customers.When he emailed Avid Life Media, the former customer says he received the following response: "Our records indicate that your account was deleted using the Full Profile Deletion option on 7 July, 2015.
At Ashley Madison your privacy is of the utmost importance to us.
"Unfortunately that's simply not possible - once information has been sufficiently socialized and redistributed, which the Ashley Madison data has certainly been - the exposure is irretrievable," he says in an online Q&A that has been driven by the "huge number" of related queries he has received from breach victims.
"At this point it is better to focus on damage control - consider the impact of your Ashley Madison membership being known by everyone and what actions you might take in order to minimize the impact - i.e.
Rest assured that the feature you chose is the best way to make sure your profile is completely removed from our service. It is like you were never even here." But as the former customer notes, that does not explain why his supposedly excised personal details were included in the dumped data. One potential explanation for why users of Ashley Madison's paid-delete service may have seen their personal details still appear in the breach could be because the Impact Team may have had access to all of the data, thus rendering moot any attempt to remove it from Avid Life Media's servers.
The attackers, in an interview, have provided further details about the hack, as well as the state of Avid Life Media's defenses.
Notably, the group called the "Impact Team" has released a third batch of stolen data and suggested they're sitting on up to 300 GB of stolen information.