Ashley Madison CEO Out|After Second Data Leak

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – The CEO of Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media has stepped down and left the company, according to a statement issued on Friday.
     Avid Life said that Noel Biderman and the company mutually agreed that he should step down as CEO. The senior management team will assume leadership duties until a new CEO is appointed.
     “This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees. We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base,” the company said in a statement.
     Biderman’s resignation comes on the heels of a massive scandal in which hacker group Impact Team on July 20 breached online affair liaison Ashley Madison’s database and swiped personal information belonging to the site’s roughly 37 million subscribers. The data included financial information, passwords, and people’s sexual fantasies.
     Impact Team threatened to release this information unless Avid Life agreed to shut down the site. When Avid Life refused, the group publically dumped 9.7 gigabytes of data on August 18.
     In response to controversy surrounding the authenticity of data from the first leak, Impact Team dumped another 19 gigabytes of data a few days later.
     “Hey Noel, you can admit it’s real now,” the hackers wrote in a message included in the download, as reported by technology site Ars Technica.
     Thousands of U.S. government employees were among those whose names were allegedly revealed in the data dump. Other alleged victims include several British politicians, people connected with the United Nations and the Vatican, and reality television star Josh Duggar.
     Embarrassed subscribers anonymously filed a class action against Avid Life on August 21, accusing the company of failing to protect their sensitive data. Among other things, the subscribers claim that Ashley Madison should have encrypted information stored in its databases to make it useless to hackers.
     In an interview with technology news site Motherboard, Impact Team claimed the hack was simple due to lack of meaningful security measures. They also told Motherboard that they hacked the site because it makes millions of dollars in profits by promoting adultery.
     Avid Life condemned Impact Team’s actions as criminal in its statement.
     The Ontario-based company continues to cooperate with Canadian authorities and international law enforcement agencies to track down the hackers, who thus far have remained anonymous.
     It has also offered an award of roughly $378,000 to anyone with information leading to the identification and arrest of those responsible for the hack.
     Avid Life did not immediately respond to comment requests.

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