Victims of the Ashley Madison hack have now become scam targets

Clara Guibourg
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Don't trust email from (Source: Getty)

It hasn’t taken spammers long to capitalise on the 37m Ashley Madison users exposed through the massive hack in July.

There’s been a surge in spam activity referencing cheating website Ashley Madison in recent weeks, warns security firm Symantec, as cyber crooks are obviously hoping to prey on adulterous hack victims and their spouses.

Symantec’s antivirus software, Norton, has blocked thousands of emails in the 10 days since hackers leaked users’ personal data, including names, credit card details and site activity.

Emails with subject lines like “How to check if you were exposed in Ashley Madison hack” and “Ashley Madison hacked, is your spouse cheating?” try to entice concerned customers to click.

Although this isn’t the first time Symantec has noticed spammers using the site, the activity has soared since the hack:

Given the nature of its business, Ashley Madison has always been the subject of some spam activity. For example, one campaign which began on 1 July, before news of the breach emerged, featured a subject line of “pending message from”. However, recent weeks have seen a spike above this baseline of activity.

Domains that have been blocked include:


Symantec advises consumers to be “very wary” of any emails purporting to be from Ashley Madison, or about the hack:

Do not pay anyone offering to remove personal details from the leaked data, since this cannot be done. This information is already in the public domain and multiple copies exist.

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