The website was hacked by Impact Team, a group of hackers that allegedly demanded the parent company of Ashley Madison, Avid Life Media shut down the site and a sister site known as Established Men.
If the sites were not shuttered, the hacker group said it would make all the private data public. Avid Life did not give into the hacker group’s demands, which resulted in the Impact Team posting more than 25 gigabytes of data that included emails of corporate personnel at Avid on the internet.
Once the data on users became available to the public, Internet blackmailers jumped into the fray to make full use of the opportunity.
A number of people whose information had been made public started to receive emails involving ransom, asking them to make a payment in a specific amount through bitcoin within a limited amount of time.
If the people failed to make the payments, the blackmailers threatened to send the profile information of the target to a spouse or other members of the family.
An online security firm known as CloudMark recently made a study of such incidents of blackmailing that was published in a blog post.
Analysts came up with a figure through monitoring transactions over the blockchain during the time the blackmail incidents were taking place.
They gave the most importance to online transactions with a constant size of 1.05 BTC from online wallets that prior to this period had very little or no prior history with transactions.
During the research, they were able to determine over 67 suspicious transactions took place that totaled 70.35 BTC. The results might not be significant of what the actual number of ransoms emails or replies were sent, as it only includes the consistent transactions over a period of 4 days.