Ashley Madison: Betting site offers odds on who will be exposed

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Paddy power Sheesh. There’s always someone trying to make a quick buck out of others’ misery isn’t there?

Online betting site has shown its true colours by sending out a tacky press release offering odds on whose name might be exposed by the overnight release of the Ashley Madison database, after the adultery website was hacked.

Here is the press release that was just sent to me by a member of Paddy Power’s PR team:

Paddypower press release

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The bookmaker offers 1/10 for a Premier League footballer to score an own goal and be named, while it’s 1/4 for a MP, or a regal 5/6 for a mischievous member of the Royal Family.

Paddy even gives 6/1 for a record number of divorces in the UK in 2015, while it’s now 5/2 that Madison will hold its IPO in London this year.

Never mind that Ashley Madison didn’t bother verifying email addresses, so the existence of someone’s details in the database doesn’t actually prove anything, eh?

That means anyone could have created an account using the email address of a top footballer, politician or – yes – member of the Royal household.

Paddy Power may be finding the situation funny, but just think of the potential human cost of a data breach like this.

We shouldn’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. Even if account details are genuine, their existence is no proof that someone had an affair behind their partner’s back.

Further reading:

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

4 comments on “Ashley Madison: Betting site offers odds on who will be exposed”

  1. Techno

    Have you seen that the Daily Telegraph is doing live updates of this on the front of its web site.

    Honestly, whatever happened to the "quality" press?

    1. Coyote · in reply to Techno

      Perhaps they felt it was time to follow the route of the telegraph itself? I don't think the media has ever been noble but this is how it goes – sensationalism and reporting what their readers want. This is something that a (I believe Russian) newspaper (perhaps online though) found out when the amount of their readers dropped when they tried out (for 24 hours) reporting only positive news. And yes this really happened; I saw it somewhere on the BBC (the section of their website is at the tip of my fingers but it isn't coming to me at this time) some while back. It is believable in any case – many people do seem to like conflict in their lives (even if they don't like specific conflicts or even if they deny needing conflict of some kind) and too much positive is a problem to them. I suppose what you say isn't surprising then (the amount of views they get must be high; this is after all a leak that gives much to gossip over).

  2. Tom

    Paddy Power are always pulling stunts like this. Advertizing that won't cost them a lot.

  3. rab

    "Never mind that Ashley Madison didn't bother verifying email addresses, so the existence of someone's details in the database doesn't actually prove anything, eh?"

    Surely this only applies if they were aware of the non validation which I'm pretty sure 99.9999% wouldn't be

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