The website's Canadian parent, Avid Life Media, confirmed a breach of its systems that has put the real names, credit card information and other details of as many as 37 million customers at risk. Avid Life said it has since secured the sites and closed unauthorized access points.
               
The dating website company has hired Toronto-based cybersecurity firm Cycura to investigate the breach, first reported by the KrebsonSecurity blog, and is working with police to trace those behind the attack, spokesman Paul Keable said.

AshleyMadison.com, which uses the slogan "Life is short. Have an affair," has been planning to raise up to $200 million through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.
               
A group calling itself Impact Team said it had taken over Avid Media systems, including customer databases, source code, financial records and emails, according to a screen grab shown on the KrebsOnSecurity blog.
               
"Shutting down AM (Ashley Madison) and EM (Established Men) will cost you, but non-compliance will cost you more," the hackers said. Established Men, widely described as a "sugar daddy site," is another Avid Media property.
               
The hackers leaked snippets of the compromised data online and warned that they would release customers' real names, profiles, nude photos, credit card details and "secret sexual fantasies" unless AshleyMadison and EstablishedMen.com are taken down, Krebs said.