We’ve entered a brave new world. One where hackers don’t just steal credit card numbers and personally identifiable information (PII), but instead use cyberbreaches to extort their targets directly.

The recent Ashley Madison hack is illustrative of this new type of exploit. A group calling itself the “Impact Team” broke into the Madison website and released a manifesto complaining about their “full delete” feature, calling it a “profitable scam.” Instead of the typical modus operandi of most cyberthieves, the Impact Team instead issued the following demands:

“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.”

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