Would you pay up if you received an Ashley Madison blackmail letter like THIS?
So many companies get hacked these days that it’s almost easy to be blasé about the news of another data breach. If your password gets compromised, you can change it. If your credit card details leak, you can cancel the card. But what happens when an extramarital affairs website you’re a member of gets hacked, and your personal details fall into the wrong hands?
When Ashley Madison was hacked last year, members had two straight choices -- come clean to their other half, or stay calm and hope it all blew over. Unfortunately, the fallout from the hack continues unabated, and some unfortunate Ashley Madison users have started to receive blackmail letters through the mail. And, for the recipients, the letters are truly terrifying.
A reader of Graham Cluley’s security website received one such letter and decided to share it with the world. His personal details, and those of another blackmailed user, have been redacted, but you can see the rest of the letter below.
In it, the blackmailer demands $2000 in bitcoin to keep quiet, and gives the recipient 10 days to pay up or risk having their involvement in Ashley Madison shared not only with their spouse, but with pretty much everyone they know. As the blackmailer puts it:
You see, [REDACTED], if you don't comply with my demand I am not just going to humiliate you, I am going to humiliate those close to you as well.
Naturally, the correct response upon receiving a letter such as this would be to contact the police and US Postal Inspectors, but I wonder just how many people would do that?
If you were signed up to Ashley Madison and you received a letter like this, what would you do?
Letter credit: Graham Cluley