A former employee of a hacked international adultery website has claimed she was asked to create hundreds of fake profiles of “alluring females” in order to attract male subscribers.
Brazilian Doriana Silva claimed she had incurred Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) after being made to input as many as 1,000 fake female members, in a 2012 lawsuit against Ashley Madison.
Her claims add to fears that many women – who had not ever used the website – may have had their emails bought and used by the dating company, and are now risk their personal details being made public following the damaging hack.
Ms Doriana’s allegations surfaced as two law firms, Charney Lawyers and Sutts, Strosberg, in Ontario, file a £368million ($578m) lawsuit on behalf of individuals who had signed up to the website but then had their private details publicly leaked.
Another lawsuit, this time from a US individual, seeks $5million in damages from the company. The unidentified female individual claims her details were never deleted – despite paying the controversial $19 dollars for a “paid-delete”.
Infidelity website Ashley Madison, whose tagline reads: ‘Life is short, have an affair’, were targeted by an extensive hack earlier this year.
The hack, believed to have occurred in July this year, was reportedly orchestrated by hackers group The Impact Team as a result of the company’s policy towards deleting users’ details.
The best, worst, and most unusual dating sites
The best, worst, and most unusual dating sites
1/18 Clown Dating
"It's no fun looking for love when you're a clown, behind all the make-up and the red nose is a lonely heart. Clowns are unique entertainers loved by some yet feared and hated by others. Luckily Clown Dating is here to help."
2/18 Dead Meet
"A dating networking site for death industry professionals"
"Tinder is the fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you. Swipe right to like or left to pass. If someone likes you back, it’s a match!"
4/18 Plenty of Fish
The largest dating site has over 90 million users
5/18 Ashley Madison
Ashley Madison "offers services to married folks looking for something on the side". It already has over a million members, as chief executive Noel Biderman said that British adults were most likely to have an affair than in other comparable countries
6/18 Sea Captain Date
Sea Captain Date website claims to be the only place for Sea Captains to connect with men and women who share a love of the ocean
Those on a more serious quest for love tend to choose the UK’s largest dating site for professionals such as E-Harmony, which has a huge list of compatibility criteria on which it pairs its users
8/18 Feet Dating
The cybersphere also boasts a plethora of dating sites for those who want to tailor their sexual fetishes like Feet Dating ("to please everyone who has a foot fetish")
9/18 Guardian Soulmates
"Soulmates community features thousands of smart, modern, independent people who are worth getting to know"
10/18 Singles with Food Allergies
The founder claims that dating can be a nightmare for those who suffer severe reactions, since popular venue choices so often include food and drink
11/18 Herpes Dating Service
"Living with HSV is something that initially may take some psychological adjustment for some patients. It does not mean the end of your sex life or that you will need to remain unmarried for the rest of your life."
Probably one of the most popular choices for tech-dating newbies
13/18 Miss Travel
Miss Travel website asks users to select from two options "attractive" and "generous", and pairs wealthy globe-trotters with hot companions
14/18 Pensioner Dating
Pensioner Dating offers a forum for "older people who want to meet new friends and companions"
Singleparents.ie is "Ireland’s number one dating site for single moms and dads"
16/18 S&M Dating
S&M Dating describes itself as a site for "beginners to the S&M and BDSM devotee"
17/18 Sugar Daddie
On the site, it says: "Sugardaddie.com is a high quality dating site for successful men who have financial security and confidence and attractive single women."
18/18 Uniform Dating
With more than 135,000 active users, Uniform Dating says each of their users receives an average of 22 winks and flirts each month
Individuals from the group, in an email interview with Motherboard on Friday, claimed that Ashley Madison’s security was “bad” and that there was “no security” protecting an estimated four million users’ personal details.
Taking aim at Avid Life Media, the Canadian company that own Ashley Madison, the hackers compared the organisation to a “drug dealer abusing addicts.”
Meanwhile, Ms Silva’s £10million lawsuit – filed in 2012 in Toronto – claims the fake profiles purpose was to “entice paying heterosexual male members to join and spend money on the website.
"They do not belong to any genuine members of Ashley Madison — or any real human beings at all,” the suit adds.
The former employee was counter-sued by Avid Life Media, who denied her claims, and the two sides agreed to drop both claims earlier this year, according to The Daily Telegraph.
A spokesperson for Ashley Madison did not respond to requests for comment.