City government workers may have been using their government email addresses to cheat on their spouses.
Hackers on Wednesday released a huge batch of data from the website, which helps people who want to have extra-marital affairs find willing partners. The data — which totaled 9.7 gigabytes — included identifying details such as credit card information and email addresses.
Shortly after that data was posted to the internet, a Twitter user identified as @t0x0pg analyzed how many email addresses ended in .gov or .mil. The results turned up thousands employees of the government and the military — raising fears by some security experts that the results could be used for blackmail.
It's unclear whether any of the email addresses traced to Philadelphia city employees hold sensitive positions.
The city is trying to see if any employees accessed the site through their city-owned computers. If they did, they could be subject to discipline, said Mark McDonald, spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter.
Ten email addresses ended in "pa.gov."
The company that owns Ashley Madison has not confirmed that the lists released online are authentic, but it has confirmed it was hacked. At least one journalist who used the site for a story confirmed his email address was contained in the dumped data.
There's also one caveat to the data dump. Ashley Madison does not verify emails addresses when users sign up, something many users were able to exploit. Included in the data are emails that end in "balls.gov," "myd$%k.gov and the possibly misspelled "bobs.gov."