The Ashley Madison breach went from being a pain to an utter disaster. If it wasn’t bad enough that credentials of over 36 million users was stolen, last week all of that data was leaked online.
As soon as the news broke, the Eskenzi team jumped into action and reached out to clients to get commentary that we could issue to the press. Rather fortuitously, Stephen Coty, chief security evangelist at one of Eskenzi’s clients, Alert Logic, had managed to do some digging on the underground forums and had obtained the leaked information. He stayed up all night mining the data to see if he could find any juicy details about the people whose information was exposed.
He discovered that over 14,000 people were government officials! Meaty stats for a PR pitch, that’s for sure. I got to work as soon as he had sent the information over, pitching these facts and figures to the IT, tech, business and national media. The time it took from receiving the initial email from the client, to issuing a media alert was only around 10 minutes! You need these sorts of quick reflexes and speeds to ensure optimum coverage – along with relevant and interesting comments, of course.
Within minutes, coverage started appearing, and the phone started ringing requesting interviews. As a result of issuing this media alert, Alert Logic received over 20 pieces of coverage including several national hits including The Observer (print), The Guardian (online) and International Business Times.