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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C

Oireachtas, Garda and Defence Forces emails appear on Ashley Madison database

A search of the hacked databases found 17 email addresses linked to government departments and state agencies.

Associated Press Associated Press

Updated 1.43 pm.

AN IRISH POLITICIAN’S Oireachtas email address has appeared on the leaked database of the affair website Ashley Madison, along with 16 others purportedly associated with government departments and state agencies, including An Garda Síochána.

The stolen information of some 32 million users of the website, which allows married people to seek out men or women to commit adultery with, was uploaded to the ‘dark web’ on Tuesday.

The information included millions of payment transactions, email addresses and phone numbers of people who had registered for the site.

The official Oireachtas email address of the politician was discovered in a search of a database of 36 million email addresses. It was the only email address in the database.

The use of the email address alone does not indicate that the politician personally registered with the website, as Ashley Madison did not require email verification for new members.

Furthermore, an exhaustive search of credit card transactions showed that nobody using the politician’s name ever purchased any paid service from from the website.

Asked to comment today, the politician strenuously denied ever using the website or having any knowledge that their email address had appeared in the database, telling

I haven’t registered on that website.

A database containing  email addresses used to register for the site also included:

Five linked to RTE, four from the HSE; two from the Department of Agriculture; two from the Irish Defence Forces; one linked to An Garda Síochána; and one each from the Departments of Justice and Social Protection.

AMvuzescreenshot A screenshot of the hacked Ashley Madison archive. has requested comment from each of these departments and agencies. In response, an RTE spokesperson said:

RTE has clear guidelines and policy for staff as regards acceptable internet and email usage.
Security experts have highlighted that in this instance there was no verification of the emails purported to belong to members.
Without clear and irrefutable evidence that such breaches have occurred we have no further comment.

A spokesperson for the HSE said anyone found to have breached its policy on unacceptable email usage would be “dealt with in accordance with the HSE’s disciplinary procedure.”

A Department of Social Protection spokesperson pointed out that the department has “clear guidelines and policy for staff on internet and email usage,” a statement echoed by a Garda spokesperson.

The Defence Forces said it would be “inappropriate” and a breach of policy if official email addresses were in fact used by staff to register for the site.

Ashley Madison’s website is known for its slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.” It helps connect people seeking to have an extramarital relationship and is owned by Avid Life Media.

The database was stolen by hackers identified as the ‘The Impact Team’ last month.

Since it was leaked there have been several accounts of false names and email addresses being used to register on the website as no email verification is required.

In one case in the UK, the Scottish National Party MP Michelle Thomson, whose email was among the millions included in the dump, said her address had been harvested by the hackers.

“I am not aware of or in contact with either Avid Life or Ashley Madison and look forward to finding out more about what has actually happened,” she said.

“However, having a personal email address linked to an account doesn’t mean that person is really a user of Ashley Madison.”

With additional reporting by Dan Mac Guill.

Originally published: 10.26 pm, Thursday

Comments have now been closed for this article.

Read: Two radio hosts have outed a husband’s Ashley Madison account live on air

Read: Hackers have released 32 million people’s details stolen from an affair website

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