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KrebsOnSecurity will likely have a decent amount of screen time in an upcoming Hulu documentary series about the 2015 megabreach at marital infidelity site Ashley Madison. While I can’t predict what the producers will do with the video interviews we shot, it’s fair to say the series will explore compelling new clues as to who may have been responsible for the attack.
The new docuseries produced by ABC News Studios and Wall to Wall Media is tentatively titled, “The Ashley Madison Affair,” and is slated for release on Hulu in late Spring 2023. Wall to Wall Media is part of the Warner Bros. International Television Production group.
“Featuring exclusive footage and untold firsthand interviews from those involved, the series will explore infidelity, morality, cyber-shaming and blackmail and tell the story of ordinary people with big secrets and a mystery that remains unsolved to this day,” reads a Jan. 12, 2023 scoop from The Wrap.
There are several other studios pursuing documentaries on the Ashley Madison breach, and it’s not hard to see why. On July 19, 2015, a hacker group calling itself The Impact Team leaked Ashley Madison internal company data, and announced it would leak all user data in a month unless Ashley Madison voluntarily shut down before then.
A month later, The Impact Team published more than 60 gigabytes of data, including user names, home addresses, search history, and credit card transaction records. The leak led to the public shaming and extortion of many Ashley Madison users, and to at least two suicides. It’s impossible to say how many users lost their jobs or marriages as a result of the breach.
I’m aware that there are multiple studios working on Ashley Madison documentaries because I broke the story of the breach in 2015, and all of those production houses approached me with essentially the same pitch: It would be a shame if your voice wasn’t included in our project.
What stood out about the inquiry from Wall to Wall was that their researchers had already gathered piles of clues about the breach that I’d never seen before.
I’d assumed that participating in their documentary would involve sitting for a few interviews about known historical facts related to the breach. But when Wall to Wall shared what they’d found, I was hooked, and spent several weeks investigating those leads further.
The result was a collaborative research effort revealing key aspects of the breach that have somehow escaped public notice over the years.
I won’t go into detail on what we discovered until the Hulu series is ready for release. Also, I am not privy to what they will produce with the interviews I gave. I can’t say that what we found untangles everything about the breach that was previously unknown, but it sure explains a lot.