Ashley Madison hack: British intelligence 'checked leaked files for security breaches and information'

Details of more than 33 million users of the website - including about 1.3 million people from the UK - were stolen in July

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The Independent Tech

Britain’s spies have been looking through leaked files from the Ashley Madison adultery website – to see if they have anything to worry about but also whether they can use it to obtain intelligence.

A senior Government source told The Daily Telegraph that countries around the world would be doing the same thing.

Details of more than 33 million users of the website – including about 1.3 million people from the UK -- were stolen in July, although many of the entries have since turned out to be fake.

Two people have reportedly taken their own lives as a result of the hack and police have seen an increase in attempts by criminals to blackmail people on the list.

And, according to the source, the security services around the world would be doing much the same – only with the aim of obtaining intelligence, rather than money.

“We have been looking at it to see if our people are vulnerable,” the insider said.

“But there are also people looking at it to see how it can be used.

“Some countries will be looking at it for blackmail.”

An analysis of the data by the editor-in-chief of technology website Gizmodo, Annalee Newitz, found that an estimated three out of every 10,000 Ashley Madison members were actually real women.

She said that there was a “good chance” there were just 12,000 real women in total with many of the rest having been faked.

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