Is Ashley Madison Cyber-Attack An Inside Job?

Aug 26, 2015 11:40 AM EDT | By Veronica P. De Leon


In line with the controversial Ashley Madison cyber-attack, security experts believe that the attackers are not some faceless group of hackers. John McAfee, who developed the first controversial antivirus program released a statement revealing who the hackers are.

The antivirus programmer believes that a female worker from the Ashley Madison's parent company called Avid Life Media is also the one responsible for the attack.

McAfee stated that it took him more than one week to analyze the leaked data which point to a female operative. He reasoned that the blame should not be pointed to a group of unknown hackers who are now hiding because they do not exist. The 69-year-old programmer claimed that he even inquired from his sources from the Dark Web.

Base on the analysis of McAfee being exposed in the cyber world himself, he considered many factors before arriving at his conclusion. He looked at the manifesto hints that the perpetrator was a female base on the words used.

An example is the word "scumbags" which was frequently used to address men. The said word is usually used by women to describe men in America. The criminal also addressed men as cheating dirtbags which indicate a woman speaking.

"It was clear that the perpetrator had intimate knowledge of the technology stack of the company (all the programs being used)," he explained. The said observation only means that the attack if from the inside.

"For example, the data contains actual MySQL database dumps. This is not just someone copying a table and making into a .csv file. Hackers rarely have full knowledge of the technology stack of a target," he added.

The exposed information which compromised many users including famous personalities and government officials, are only available to the Ashley Madison workers which supports the assumptions of McAfee.

Being an expert in the field of social engineering, his theory is worthy to be considered in the ongoing operation to determine the hacker. McAfee claims that he was one of the first practitioners of the method which is used by many hackers today.

IT security specialist at ESET Mark James agree with his claims since many cases of data breaches that occurred involved help from the inside because it is the easiest process to infect the system with malwares to extract data.

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