A website designed to help married people have extra-marital affairs confirmed that confidential data about its users was stolen and published online. However, the company that owns the website, Avid Life Media, also assured its users that no credit card information was stolen by the hackers.

Could Cause Problems for Many Married Couples

Hackers broke into the website and pulled a massive quantity of data from the AshleyMadison.com website, which they published on Tuesday. It was posted to an area of the Internet that can only be accessed with a special browser. The email address lists, however, were soon downloaded and republished in a more public area of the Internet. A long list of email addresses of Ashley Madison users is now freely available to anyone who wants to search it, and this could cause serious problems for a lot of married couples around the world.

The email addresses were published about a month following notice from Avid Life Media that its infidelity site had been hacked. According to sources, after the Toronto-based website was hacked, hackers threatened to publish the information if the website refused to shut down AshleyMadison.com and EstablishedMen.com. However, the company ultimately did not shut itself down, and the hackers followed through with their threat.

A spokesman for AshleyMadison.com assured users of the website that no credit card information has been breached because the company does not store this kind of information on its servers. However, the spokesperson admitted that some very real and sensitive information relating to users had been obtained by the hackers and published.

Can Leaked Information Be Used in Divorce Proceedings?

This case certainly brings up the question of whether individuals would be able to use leaked information as evidence in their divorce proceedings. Because the information was illegally obtained, it may not be admissible as court evidence in family law proceedings. However, a judge might rule to admit the information, depending on the case. Regardless of whether it can be used as evidence, though, the leaked information could result in many spouses deciding to move forward with a divorce.