Why Your Info Might Be In The Ashley Madison Hack, Even If You Weren't A Member

Photo: Martti Kainulainen/Rex/REX USA
Revelations about the notable men discovered to be using the cheater-enabling website Ashley Madison have been rolling out all week following hackers' release of its email database, from Josh Duggar to White House employees. But it turns out that many women who never signed up for the site at all may have had their email (and mailing) addresses stolen and revealed in the big hack.

The Daily Telegraph
reports that in a $10 million lawsuit filed by former employee Doriana Silva in 2012, she claimed that she was "made to input as many as 1,000 fake female members" into the site's database in three weeks. "They do not belong to any genuine members of Ashley Madison — or any real human beings at all,” her suit claimed.

This revelation is key in the wake of a new $5 million lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman whose data was exposed in the hack; she paid the site's $19 delete fee to have her information completely removed from the site and its databases. She later discovered that her private information was revealed in the hacked files.

Silva's claim, which was filed because she said she suffered repetitive strain injury (RSI) from working on the profiles, stated that the fake profiles she created were to "entice paying heterosexual male members to join and spend money on the website." Addresses and corresponding information for women were bought in bulk and Silva was assigned the task of crafting fake details about them. Her suit was countered by Avid Life Media, Inc., the owners of Ashley Madison, and both sides agreed to drop their lawsuits earlier this year.

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