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£128 million: The potential cost of the Ashley Madison hack

The AshleyMadison hack has once again shown how serious and just how devastating cyberattacks can be. According to a latest report by Business Insider (opens in new tab), the attack against the infidelity site could cost it $200 million (£128m).

According to the report, the site planned on launching a $200 million initial public offering in London later this year.

Business Insider later reported that the company was close to canceling its plans in favour of privately paying its shareholders dividends. The data breach all but rules the IPO out completely.

“It is likely to heavily shake customer confidence (and hence the company's financial performance) as well as investors' perception of the company, two important factors in any IPO“, Business Insider wrote in a report today. “ALM declined Business Insider's request for comment on how the attack would affect its plans.”

AshleyMadison is a site where married people come to look for an affair. It offered its users the option to completely delete their profile for £15 in the UK and $19 in the US. But a team of hackers going by the name The Impact Team hacked the site and stole the information of its 37 million users.

The group claims the site lied to its users and does not completely wipe the information. AshleyMadison denied these accusations.

Impact Team threatened to release the information, including full names and addresses of its users to the internet, unless AshleyMadison.com is taken offline.

"Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers' secret sexual fantasies and matching credit-card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails," the hacker's manifesto read, according to Krebs Security. "The other websites may stay online."

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.