Is Ashley Madison still in business? Exploring the current status of the dating website

An illustration of a married couple (Image via Netflix)
An illustration of a married couple (Image via Netflix)

Netflix's latest documentary series, Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal, tells the story of the rise and fall of the dating website. Released on May 14, 2024, the three-part docuseries explores the infamous 2015 data breach that exposed the identities of millions of its users.

The synopsis of the show reads:

"When a dating site for people seeking adulterous affairs is hacked, millions of users' intimate data is exposed, wrecking marriages and destroying lives."

Ashley Madison, a website launched in 2002, targeted married individuals seeking extramarital affairs. Despite being heavily criticized, the website saw tremendous success over the years. However, in 2015, it fell victim to a cyber attack by hackers who leaked all of its data.

This exposed the identity of its users, leading to the destruction of marriages, lawsuits, and even reports of suicide. Despite the scandal, the dating website is surprisingly still up and running today.

Read more: What is the true story behind Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal?


Ashley Madison is still up and running

The homepage of the official website (Image via ashleymadison.com)
The homepage of the official website (Image via ashleymadison.com)

Despite the 2015 hacking incident that threatened its existence, the Ashley Madison website continues to thrive nearly a decade later.

After the disastrous scandal that ruined the lives of many, the CEO of the dating site and its parent company Avid Life Media, Noel Biderman, stepped down from his position. The following year, Avid Life Media rebranded as Ruby Corp. and brought on Rob Segal as CEO and James Millership as president.

To rebuild the disgraced dating website and regain client trust, the new heads bolstered the site's cybersecurity by hiring Deloitte. As per a 2016 article by Business Insider, it also conducted annual internal audits onsite and had its network scanned by an outside vendor. They also expunged the fake profiles used on the site.

Ashley Madison's notorious tagline "Life is short. Have an affair" was replaced with "Find your moment." The website has since reverted to its original slogan.

The rebrand of Ashley Madison proved successful as the dating website is still in business and popular. As of May 2024, it claims on the site:

"Ashley Madison is the No. 1 married dating app, with more than 80 million sign-ups since 2002 and hundreds of thousands of new members monthly."

Why was Ashley Madison hacked in 2015?

A still from the docuseries (Image via Netflix)
A still from the docuseries (Image via Netflix)

In July 2015, a group of anonymous hackers who called themselves The Impact Team breached Ashley Madison's website and stole the data of over 32 million users. The stolen data included users' login details, email addresses, payment transaction history, and passwords.

The hackers accused the company of retaining all of its customers' details even after deleting their accounts permanently. This went against their policy, which promised to scrub all the customers' data after deleting their accounts for a small fee.

The Impact Team demanded that Avid Life Media shut down Ashley Madison and Established Men (another dating website) within 30 days or they would release all the stolen records. These included sexual fantasies, credit card information, and real names and addresses of all the users.

After ALM refused to give in to the demands, the hackers released all the customer data in August 2015. The data leak exposed the identities of several people, such as reality star Josh Duggar, Christian YouTuber Sam Rader, Josh Taekman, and Florida state attorney Jeff Ashton, among others.

The company faced a $576 million class-action lawsuit following the breach, with accusations of negligence, invasion of privacy, and emotional distress. There were also several reports of divorce cases and suicides which were linked to the data leak.

Read more: Is the Ashley Madison list still available? Explained


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Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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Edited by Pradyot Hegde
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