A 'fixed' Ashley Madison data dump has been published, following complaints that The Impact Team's second release, which included the personal emails of CEO Noel Biderman, were inaccessible.
The fix to the second, and larger leak of material contains details of adultery website Ashley Madison users was questioned over it legitimacy, but Techworld understands that the leaked data - which includes personal emails and credit card transactions of around 36 million users and staff, along with website source code - is legitimate.
When 20GB of data was published online, including a 13.74GB compressed file titled "noel.biderman.mail.7z", caused confusion as security experts and media outlets were unable to open the files. Per Thorsheim, chief executive of cybersecurity firm God Praksis told the BBC, "It's in a zipped format, and when I try to decompress the contents a message comes up saying it won't work"..."I can't yet say why."
It appears that The Impact Team discovered the issue, or read the news reports and issued a fix on Friday.
A source told Techworld: "The second dump is even more difficult to open. The source code was directly extracted from Ashley Madison's Git repository. (Git is an open-source distributed revision control system which is widely used.) The Noel Biderman's private mail archive, as mentioned earlier, was corrupted in the second dump. The third dump is the fix."
This is a fresh blow to the company that own Ashley Madison, Avid Life Media, the subject of two lawsuits filed by Candian lawyers for CA$760m (£367million). UK lawyers have estimated a British payout of £1.2 billion in total.
The Impact Team have not been as keen to claim this latest leak, but within the data, a file stating: “Hey Noel, you can admit it’s real now” --The Impact Team” can be found.
A user titled The Impact Team uploaded the first dump to file sharing site The Pirate Bay, however this latest leak was uploaded on Thursday evening under a different name, user “Liberator 2007”, an account which previously uploaded free boot and recovery software. The latest fixes were uploaded anonymously.
Originally, Pirate Bay users speculated that the larger file size could be a duplication or un-archived version of the dump. Warning signs including little official update from Impact Team on the deep web and the fact that the original files already included information on the 36 million users (a figure confirmed by Avid Life Media).
However, as the picture above shows, files have been zipped in a .TGZ format (compressed archive files) which suggests they could be legitimate due to their size.
Opportunistic malware spreaders have jumped on the Ashley Madison bandwagon, uploading files titled “full Ashley Madison dump” and titles to similar effect, on torrenting sites, preying on those hoping to download through the leaked data.
Tech-savvy forum users have taken to writing tutorials due to the widespread interest in downloading and searching the leaked files.