Hackers have threatened to release the private data of more than 37 million users of the cheating website Ashley Madison, according to Krebs on Security, a cyber security website.
The group, who calls itself The Impact Team, teased some of the compromised data online and threatened to release more, including nude photos, customer names, and credit card details if the dating site, which uses the slogan "Life is short. Have an affair," does not shut down.
The hackers claimed Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison's parent company, lied to its users about deleting their private records including credit card information. The hackers also demanded the shut down of another popular site run by the company called "Established Men."
Krebs on Security reported that in addition to leaked account data, the hackers also obtained sensitive internal company data, including bank accounts and salary information.
In a message to the company, the hackers wrote: "Shutting down AM (Ashley Madison) and EM (Established Men) will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more."
ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman confirmed the breach to Krebs, which he called a criminal act, and suggested that the hacker may have had earlier inside access to their technical services.
The company also apologized in a statement.
“At this time, we have been able to secure our sites, and close the unauthorized access points," ALM said. "We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act. Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber–terrorism will be held responsible.”
Ashley Madison is in the process of raising millions through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, according to Reuters.