'Full Delete': Ashley Madison Allegedly Made Millions Selling Extra Services
A presentation appears to show revenue the hacked site made from features including its "full delete" option.
Image: Screenshot from the Ashley Madison homepage
Finally, data allegedly from the recent Ashley Madison breach has been dumped online. 10GB of files that look to be from the extramarital dating site are now being hosted on the dark web and mirrored by other sites. Hackers say they were stolen over "the past few years."
Among the documents is a recent breakdown of how much incremental revenue Avid Life Media, the company that owns Ashley Madison, generated in 2014 from a series of extra services and products. This includes Ashley Madison's "Full Delete" feature, which offers to completely erase all information related to a customer's profile, but which the hackers behind the breach claimed didn't work as advertised.
The document, titled "ALM – January 2015 – Company Overview.pptx," is marked as "Strictly Confidential – Not for External Distribution." It states that the "Full Delete" feature raked in "$1.7mm" in 2014 by charging users $19.99 a time.
This is the same amount that hackers "Impact Team" claimed the feature had made when they released snippets of information back in July. They said their motivation for hacking the site was that the "Full Delete" function didn't actually completely erase customers' profiles.
At the time, Avid Life Media told Motherboard in an email that "the 'paid-delete' option offered by AshleyMadison.com does in fact remove all information related to a member's profile and communications activity." It's still unclear who is right.
According to another slide in the presentation, Ashley Madison made "$6mm incremental revenue in 2014" by charging its users an extra $19.99 to allow them access to the site on their mobile device. "Have an Affair...Anywhere!" the tagline reads.
$600k revenue was made in the same year by a service called "Traveling Man," a feature that lets a user select a city outside of their usual ZIP code to facilitate liaisons while away from home.
Meanwhile $2mm was generated in 2014 from customers paying to boost their profile in Ashley Madison search results. "Men want to get noticed," the presentation states.
Avid Life Media did not immediately respond to a request for comment.