The owner of the Ashley Madison adultery website said on Friday it has agreed to pay $11.2 million to settle U.S. litigation over a 2015 data breach that exposed personal details of millions of users.
Ruby Life Inc, formerly known as Avid Dating Life Inc, denied wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which requires approval by a federal judge in St. Louis. It has tightened security since discovering the breach in July 2015.
Hackers broke into the company’s systems in July 2015 and then posted the information online a month later after the company didn’t comply with their demands to shut down Ashley Madison.
The website – whose slogan was “Life is short. Have an affair” – is marketed to people looking for extramarital relationships. It once purported to have about 39 million members.
Husbands and wives across the world were confronted with their partners’ extramarital affairs after the catastrophic leak spewed electronic evidence of infidelity across the internet. The hacking triggered extortion crimes and led to unconfirmed reports of suicides.
Forums such as Reddit, a user-powered news and discussion site, carried stories of anguished husbands and wives confronting their partners after finding their data among the massive dump of information.