Boston City Hall Emails Found in Ashley Madison Leak
Having an affair is risky, using an email account that is subject to public records laws to engage in that affair is even riskier.
A recent major hack revealed at least five Boston City Hall email accounts were used to set up accounts on AshleyMadison.com, a website that promises to connect users with other married folk to engage in affairs.
In addition to the Boston City Hall emails, one user with a Boston Police Department email domain was also found in recently released data from the hack.
Boston was not the only Massachusetts municipality where government employees used their work emails to arrange extramarital affairs. Government domains for Chicopee, Framingham, Leominster, Lowell, Newton, Norwood, and Somerville all registered at least one user according to leaked data from the AshleyMadison.com hack. False ones for Marshfield, and Stow were also used.
A search at press time of the available data revealed no additional governmental domains from Massachusetts. An additional search of various Beacon Hill related domains turned up nothing.
“Under no circumstances should City e-mail accounts be used for anything other than work related purposes,” said Boston City Hall press secretary Bonnie McGilpin in an emailed statement.
The hack of Ashley Madison’s estimated 36 million users has turned the internet on its head in recent days with the specter of the nation’s unfaithful ways being revealed en masse. The hack of the site’s data is drastically different from others in recent years because of the site’s adulterous nature. Crucial private information like addresses and credit card information is leaked all the time, but rarely are such personal things like one’s detailed bedroom preferences revealed with it—and rarely on a scale like this.
The very sensitive and intimate information on record at AshleyMadison.com makes this hack one of the most extensive and damaging in the history of the internet.
According to reports, the hackers at the root of the leak, a group called The Impact Team, threatened to release all of the account information on AshleyMadison.com because of the site’s claim that it could remove all member information for $19.
The group claimed in its posting that the “full delete” service is “a complete lie” and does not actually remove the information from the site or the database of its parent company, Avid Life Media.
AVM’s two largest digital romance properties are AshleyMadison.com and EstablishedMen.com, a website that links young women with wealthy men. The Impact Team demanded AVM pull the two sites from the internet before hacking the sites and releasing all of their information.
Note: For ethical reasons, Boston magazine has decided to not reveal the identities of the users of the site.