How cheating site Ashley Madison responded to an 'act of cyber-terrorism'

Its parent company, Avid Life Media, is working with Levick Communications on its comms response.

Ashley Madison has been using its social channels and website to keep users up to date after hackers successfully cracked the user database of the controversial platform, which helps people cheat on their spouses.

On Sunday, Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media confirmed that data had been stolen from the company including financial records and other proprietary information. The hackers are threatening to expose the identities of 37 million members if the site is not shut down.

Levick Communications, which is handling media outreach for the situation on behalf of Avid Life Media, emailed PRWeek with a statement from the company Monday afternoon. Agency representatives declined to offer further detail on its relationship with Avid Life Media or the company’s crisis communications strategy.

In addition to apologizing for "this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information," the statement noted that Avid Life Media was able to secure its sites and close unauthorized access points.

The statement added that the company is working with law-enforcement agencies to investigate the "act of cyber-terrorism."

Ashley Madison posted a statement on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as the media section of its website, this morning, followed by an updated statement at 12:25 pm EST. The site also sent a press release out at 3 am EST.

While the hackers refer to Ashley Madison’s customers as "cheating dirtbags," they also justified the breach by claiming the site’s delete option is flawed and does not completely remove users’ information.

Avid Life Media said in a statement that its "paid-delete" option removes all information and communications activity. Ashley Madison will now offer "our full-delete option free to any member, in light of today’s news," the statement added.

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