Since the hacking of the Ashley Madison web site, and the large database that has leaked all of its 34 million users online of the online adultery service, now there are blackmailers that are extorting the user base to cash-in on the leaked data.
The extortioners are using Bitcoin, an online virtual currency that is nearly untraceable as way to receive payments from users. The blackmailers will send an email to you similar to the one below;
“You need to send exactly 1.05 BTC to the following BTC address,” the email reads. The 1.05 BTC is worth about $253.08 USD. “If the Bitcoin is not paid within 3 days of 23 August 2015 then my system will automatically message all your friends and family.”
Users of the Ashley Madison site can either pay the money or risk them contacting your friends and family. A majority of the users end up paying the money in hopes that their friends and family will never receive the message.
What choices do users of the site have? Not a lot. You can choose to pay the money or you can choose not to pay the money. The blackmailers may or may not actually contact your friends and family but if they don’t, the next person to email you may do so. Since the data is linked online, anyone and everyone will attempt to blackmail you. So even if you were to pay the amount that they are asking, you may get another one for the same person or even a different person wanting the same thing or more.