NEW YORK — Divorce attorneys are bracing for a surge of new clients after the release Tuesday night of data stolen from the infidelity dating site Ashley Madison.
Hours after the hackers posted a trove of names, addresses, partial credit card numbers and email addresses of many of the site’s nearly 39 million users, law firms, like Manhattan-based divorce firm Yaniv & Associates, said they were already experiencing an influx of calls from potential clients.
“The attorneys are unavailable because there are so many people calling right now,” an employee who answered the phone told The Huffington Post on Wednesday morning. “You’ll have to call back later.”
Ashley Madison, which is owned by Toronto-based Avid Life Media, confirmed last month that data was swiped from its servers after the hackers threatened to post the stolen information online. The hacker group, which called itself The Impact Team, vowed to publish personal information on the “cheating dirtbags” who use Ashley Madison and “deserve no such discretion” unless the site got shut down. The hackers also criticized the company for charging users $19 to delete their data from the site, claiming it didn’t fully wipe user data.
On Wednesday morning, the magenta-colored site remained up, inviting new users to join its millions of “anonymous members” with an airbrushed image of a woman, her eyes hidden and finger pressed to her lips in a nonverbal shush. She has a gold wedding band on her ring finger. Below her are two badges promising security and a third insisting the site is “100% discreet.”
Avid Life Media said on Tuesday that it was working with Canadian authorities and the FBI to uncover who is behind the hack.
One lawyer predicted that law firms won’t be the only ones seeing an uptick in business.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of people calling me in and wanting to quote-unquote know their rights,” Newman said. “Whether they end up divorced, time will tell. But we’ll definitely be getting a lot of phone calls.”
SOURCE: Alexander C. Kaufman