RTC03: Missing pieces

This is one of a multi-part series. For other instalments, see Romancing the code: Ashley’s Angels and internet demons.

Whilst the amount of data in the leak suggests that it has been accessed and collected over an extended period of time, it was also immediately clear that the torrents comprised, at best, only around a quarter of all the available data. There have been claims that in total, 300gb was taken, whilst the files in the leak total only around 80gb (uncompressed). Even if it is true that someone has a further 220gb, this is unlikely to be the entire amount that was available. Continue reading

RTC02: Time’s up

This is one of a multi-part series. For other instalments, see Romancing the code: Ashley’s Angels and internet demons.

In July 2015, a group calling itself the Impact Team contacted ALM, ordering them to take down all iterations of AM, as well as an associated site, Established Men. As proof of both their intentions and their possession of the data, the Impact Team included a selection of files containing sensitive user data, and the following message: Continue reading

RTC01: Life is short. Hack an affair.

This is one of a multi-part series. For other instalments, see Romancing the code: Ashley’s Angels and internet demons.

Created in 2001, the website Ashley Madison (hereon AM) was supposedly named after the two most popular girls’ names of the time. Owned by Avid Life Media Inc. (hereon ALM), Ashley Madison’s tagline is, “Life is short. Have an affair.” ALM’s then-CEO, Noel Biderman, author of books such as Cheaters Prosper: How Infidelity Will Save the Modern Marriage, has repeatedly supported the philosophy of extra-marital affairs and the service that he felt his site was offering. In a 2009 interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail, Biderman suggested that infidelity was actually positive for marriages: Continue reading

All who take the sword: the fourth arena in the war of ideas

Politics has long been a career choice in which those involved are expected to be both thick-skinned and yet, capable of getting under the equally thick skins of others. However, whilst some of those politicians may have envisioned tough questions from the opposition’s ranks, or even unfounded accusations in the media, few may have been prepared for the newest arena of the ideas-war – the internet.

On Thursday 26th November 2015, David Cameron set forth his arguments in favour of extensive British military operations in Syria, and in a vote a week later, on Wednesday 02nd December, politicians voted in favour of military action. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has repeatedly and explicitly opposed this, but gave his politicians a free vote on the matter. Whatever the result, it was always going to be contentious, with strong supporters and detractors on either side. In the end, sixty-six Labour MPs voted in favour of bombing Syria, and somewhat predictably, Twitter lit up. Continue reading