According to a Spanish tech company, more than three thousand people in Ecuador appear on a users list for Ashley Madison, a website for people seeking extramarital affairs. More than a third of those members live in Cuenca. Data from the website was stolen by hackers and published July 20.
The hackers published the names and information of Ashley Madison’s 37 million users worldwide. Of these, 3,107 are in Ecuador, with 1,299 of them living in Cuenca. The numbers became available to the public after the Spanish company Tecnilógica used data published by hackers to map the locations of users.
Following far behind Cuenca in number of Ashley Madison users in Ecuador are Esmeraldas with 461, Salinas with 335 and Loja with 329. Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, shows just 160 users.
An Ecuador expat who writes about demographic trends of foreign residents, says he’s not surprised by the numbers. “Cuenca has the largest expat community in the country and most of them are from the U.S. and Canada, places where you would be most likely to know about Ashley Madison,” he said. “Besides that, there’s a disproportionately high number of Ecuadorians in Cuenca who have lived in the U.S. who would be more likely to know about the site.”
Sao Paulo (Brazil) with 374,554 members of Ashley Madison, is the city with the largest number of users worldwide. It is followed by New York (USA) with 268,247, and Sydney (Australia) with 253,860. Most of the users are men, making up 86.2% of the total.
The hackers, who call themselves The Impact Team, claimed to have stolen personal information about the site’s user base, and threatened to release users’ names and personally identifying information if Ashley Madison was not immediately shut down. On August 18 and August 20, after the website refused the demand, the group leaked more than 25 gigabytes of company data, including user details.
Ashley Madison says it operates in more than 50 countries and has 37 million members. It promotes its service with the tagline, “Life is short, have an affair.”
According to London’s Daily Mail, millions of panicked Ashley Madison members and their suspicious spouses last week crashed websites hosting the ‘cheat sheet’ of users worldwide. The Mail says websites with searchable databases of names and sexual fantasies had to shut down within minutes of going live because they could not cope with demand.