Just a few days ago we reported on the Ashley Madison hack which contained the usernames, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and email addresses of AM members. The point we were making in that article was that you need to be very careful with your choice of phone. That ‘security’ isn’t a boring subject because while, under your definition ‘you’ve done nothing wrong’ others may see it VERY differently.
Now, it would appear, there are also people in dark shadows that are very happy to actively exploit you – even if you have done nothing wrong – as they merrily damn you by association.
According to the International Business Times, the British intelligence services did what any secret service would do. They examined the data to see if any of their own staff could be compromised in any way.
But what they did next is that they then went through it so see if there were potential threats. Because they knew that if THEY were looking through the data, foreign agencies would be too, with an eye towards blackmailing the victim.
“We have been looking at it to see if our people are vulnerable. But there are also people looking at it to see how it can be used. Some countries will be looking at it for blackmail,” a government source told the British newspaper the Telegraph.”
Which, of course, means that the British spies have, since Ashley Madison was operating worldwide, have also been looking at their own potential blackmail targets.
What’s slightly scary is that in a very short space of time the British Secret Service were able to analyse the leaked data and discover that:
Contained in the trove were UK public sector email addresses that had been used to register on the site. They have been broken down into the following categories: education: ac.uk (1,716); government: gov.uk (124); MoD: mod.uk (92), local education authorities and schools: sch.uk (65); National Health Service: nhs.uk (56); police force; and police.uk (less than 50).
Easy peasy, huh?
But here’s the biggest thing of all, many of the addresses that accessed the site were inactive or may not have been the right persons at all:
“Email addresses linked to an account do not mean the owner has used the dating site. Users are able to sign up to the site without responding to an email verification, meaning anyone’s email address could have been used to create an account.”
Do you think that a blackmailer cares?
Just think what that means though. When the likes of Whatsapp/Facebook are busily broadcasting your phone number to the world, isn’t that incredibly easy to trace back to you? Aren’t you going to have rather a hard time convincing someone it wasn’t you in that conversation they’ve just taken out of context to blackmail you with?
Or how about those pics you have unknowingly automatically uploaded to the iCloud? Remember when that got hacked? Well, Apple STILL haven’t fixed it, one year on.
Or pretty much anything on your Android phone? Anyone can fish around on that…
To be safe, use BBM. To be safer still there is still only ONE answer.
Buy a BlackBerry.