The site Ashley Madison has been hacked. It’s not the first time that a major website has suffered at the ends of hackers, but what makes this case unique is that Ashley Madison is “ a website for cheating spouses “ and the hackers are threatening to expose all of its 37 million users.
Can you imagine what is going on in the mind of those men and women right now who are on that users list that may or may not be exposed? Some people might call is Karma, the revenge of the cheated spouse, but one thing is sure: divorce lawyers are rubbing their hands in anticipation and so are flower shop owners.
Lots of people will have lots of ‘splaining to do, and for some, that won’t be sufficient. No matter the angle you are looking at this from, hacking a site is criminal and people get hurt in the process.
My clients often ask me why some people break an entering like that (that’s what hacking is) and often times, the reason is as simple as… because they can. For some, the fact that they have broken into the door is sufficient and once a site has been hacked, they just pad themselves on the shoulder and move on. Others find it funny to replace the home page with a page of their own, displaying some kind of message, political and otherwise and in the true manner of a megalomaniac individual also live their hackers’ handle. An electronic graffiti that shows the world how clever these hackers are.
And then you have the others, those who want to make money on the back of users, by selling their personal information to the highest bidder, including their credit cards and even social security numbers, and don’t think twice about the harm they cause. They are crooks, why would they care?
Unlike the common presumption, most hackers are not particularly competent computer experts, coders and or developers. They just know how to use specialized software, available out and which are so easy to use, a click of mouse if often all the expertise they need.
The best way to explain how these hacking scripts work is to compare them the “bots” search engines use to rank a site. Google for example uses bots who are designed to hop from one site to the next, look at the content of a page, log its findings to a database and move on to the next page.
Hackers user similar scripts but their only purpose in to search for “holes” that can be exploited.