Twitter account suspended after purportedly exposing Ky. Ashley Madison users

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's marketed as a matchmaking website for married people.

But hackers say they've leaked a massive database of users from Ashley Madison. And on Wednesday, someone started sending tweets claiming to expose people from Kentucky who are some of the website's customers.

As many as 37 million people could learn that lesson the hard way.

Hackers calling themselves the Impact Team released data from millions of accounts on the Ashley Madison website, whose slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair."

On Wednesday, a new Twitter account began tweeting the names of Kentuckians it says are part of the data dump. WKYT is not releasing the identities the Twitter account is naming.

Twitter suspended the account Wednesday night, but a second account was created Thursday. That account promised to begin "ky.gov" email addresses throughout the day. That account was suspended Thursday afternoon.

Dozens of state government email addresses are also reportedly on the list.

The state employee handbook includes the acceptable use policy for state email. It says only 'incidental' personal use of email is allowed, although even that is not encouraged. It also says any incidental personal use should be "ethical and responsible."

Questions do remain, however, as to the authenticity of the treasure trove of user information. According to reports, users do not have to verify the email address with which they are signing up.

Still, computer experts say the leak is a reminder that there are no secrets no the Internet.

"Any time you put something online, you've got to ask yourself, 'What are the consequences if this becomes public, or if it becomes un-private, what are the consequences?'" said Steve Hamrin, owner of Campus Computer Repair. "I don't think the message is 'Be afraid, be very afraid.' I think it's 'Be judicious. Be careful.' Be careful where you put your data if it's not on your own machine."

Hamrin says a hack like this was "inevitable" because many websites and companies don't protect consumer information sufficiently.



 
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