Five months after the adulterer-friendly dating website Ashley Madison was spectacularly hacked, it seems blackmailers are still trying to dig their claws into people who signed up to the site.
Blackmail by post? How 20th century
According to security blogger Graham Cluley, some former members of the site are now receiving blackmail demands through the post. The letters ask for thousands of dollars and threaten to out former members if the lucre is not forthcoming.
Ever since the database of Ashley Madison users was displayed online, blackmailers have been quick to try and extort money from members. The swift exposure of high-profile casualties, like former director of the Family Research Council Josh Duggar, who resigned in disgrace after being shown to have multiple accounts with the website, showed there was money to be made.
After the database went online, at least one suicide was linked to the leak.
It later emerged that the whole website was something of a busted flush, with around one per cent of the people on there being women looking for affairs.
A new round of blackmailers are now having a go using snail mail, but Cluley said there was nothing to worry about.
"I can understand how it would be distressing for Ashley Madison members to receive a letter like that through the post, but I'm strongly of the opinion that – in the majority of cases – blackmailers are trying their luck, hoping that a small percentage of those targeted will pay up," he said.
"I understand that it must be very unsettling and worrying, but paying the blackmailers any money is only likely to make them focus on you more. Ignoring them is probably a better plan in my humble opinion." ®