25/08/2015 10:45 BST | Updated 25/08/2015 10:59 BST

Ashley Madison Data Hack Suggests Company Hacked Competitor Site For Client Information

What goes around comes around.

As it turns out, these words are ringing true for Ashley Madison, the extramarital dating site at the centre of one of the largest data hacks to date.

According to emails published as part of the data hack, senior Ashley Madison staff did their own fair share of hacking to obtain client information from competitor sites.

Chief technology officer Raja Bhatia gained access to the user base belonging to, an "American online magazine dedicated to sexual topics, relationships and culture," Krebs on Security reports.

In an email to Ashley Madison's CEO Noel Biderman, he reportedly wrote: “They did a very lousy job building their platform. I got their entire user base...

“Also, I can turn any non paying user into a paying user, vice versa, compose messages between users, check unread stats, etc.”

Biderman responded with: “What is the security hole? How did you hear about it.”


This alleged exchange has come out in a second data dump that happened on Thursday. The first one took place on Tuesday and contained a string of email addresses associated with UK government employees, UN and Vatican staff.

Ashley Madison's parent company, Avid Life Media, have denied any suggestion that company hacked competitor sites.

In statement to Motherboard, a representative wrote:

"Nerve was exploring strategic partnerships in May of 2012 and reached out to Noel to determine Avid Life Media's interest in the property.At the time Noel did not act on that opportunity...

"...At no point was there an effort made to hack, steal or use's proprietary data..."