We’ve written a few times now about the leak of data from Ashley Madison, the “dating site for people who want to cheat on their spouses,” mostly discussing the company’s bizarre infatuation with abusing copyright law to try to take down anyone posting content from the leak. We haven’t taken part in any of the stories about naming and shaming individuals who have been found in the database (or just where they might work). As a lot of people have been noting (thankfully) in their stories, for no clear reason, Avid Life Media (the company that owns Ashley Madison) doesn’t do email verification. That means anyone can create an account using anyone else’s email address. In fact, last month, reporter Farai Chideya noted that someone had created an account using her email.
And, apparently, someone thought it would be funny to do the same to me. Yesterday afternoon, I got a message telling me “Welcome to Day 1 of your Ashley Madison Experience.” Someone using my email signed me up, using the rather creative account name “masnicator.” I’m kinda surprised that Ashley Madison is still even allowing online signups (let alone not using an email verification system, or for that matter even keeping the site up at all). But, perhaps even more ridiculous is that in the “welcome” email, it highlights how the service is “100% Secure.” Perhaps even more amusing is that just three minutes after this fake registration, I also got a fake message from someone. And, no, I’m not going to see what the message is, nor even let the image show up (not even for journalistic curiosity). But this certainly adds that much more support to the theory that the site regularly used fake profiles and fake come ons to get men to pay up. As if anyone is (1) still using the site at all and (2) going to respond to an obviously bogus account three minutes after it’s created.
As if to hammer home just how bogus the whole thing is, the site sent me another email just a few hours later, claiming that it was showing me new people who had just signed up near me. Of course, if anyone is actually “signing up” now, I’m guessing it’s for the same reason that someone signed me up: to mess with people or to joke around.
Not sure why whoever did this did this, though, I guess thanks for the story?