Ashley Madison, an online dating website that has been hacked a group who called themselves as “Impact team”, is now offering a bounty of up to $377,000 to anyone who can give any information on their hacker. The Canadian dating services site which has a slogan, ““Life is Short, have an Affair.” stirred up the ire of the Impact Team which eventually lead to a security breach on their security system. Ashley Madison encourages extramarital affairs, and provides services for married people to have hook up with another. Before the security breach, Impact Team has warned that they have stolen records of the people who have signed up in the site, and will leak this record unless the site closes down. The site ignored the warning, and continued to operate. The Impact team were true to their word, and released the Ashley Madison‘s records in public last week.
Aside from the security breach, there have been other serious damages done by leaked data. Several marriages may not survive from this ordeal. Toronto police said in a press release last Monday that they suspect two people committed suicide as result of the released files. These are some of reasons which lead Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison’s parent company, to offer a $377,000 bounty on Ashley Madison’s hackers. Anyone who can offer any information on the identity of the hacker or hackers can get this amount. The company is coordinating with the authorities, and is offering this bounty to ensure that the hackers can be tracked down and be arrested.
Alex Rice an executive at HackerOne says that although it is unusual for a company to place a bounty on the head of a hacker, it is not unheard of. In fact, some hackers do get caught as in the case of Microsoft in 2011, wherein Microsoft offered a $250,000 bounty on the hacker group Rustock. Ashley Madison’s $377,000 bounty for the information on their hackers is a move which ensures that the Impact Team will be tracked down, and if possible, imprisoned. If this goes successfully, people might regain their trust on Internet Companies and their security. As Jonathan Schmidt says, “If people know hacking is not an anonymous crime and they can be caught, there’s much more of a deterrent.”