Ashley Madison Hack Could Become National Security Threat

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Casey Harper Contributor
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The Ashley Madison hack surely spurred some fights in American households, but new reports show it also poses a national security threat.

The Pentagon is parsing through the names and sexual fantasies revealed in the hack of the Ashley Madison adultery dating site, fearing that foreign governments could use the information to blackmail and recruit potential intelligence operatives from among rank-and-file government workers who may have access to classified information, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“A foreign spy agency now has the ability to cross-check who has a security clearance, via the OPM breach, with who was cheating on their wife via the Ashley Madison breach, and thus identify someone to target for blackmail,” Peter W. Singer, a fellow at the nonprofit New America Foundation and coauthor of the book “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar,” told the Los Angeles Times.

Chinese hackers have proven particularly skilled at extracting U.S. data and are working with Russia to identify U.S. operatives. The Washington Post reports that the U.S. is working on economic sanctions in response to recent Chinese cyber attacks.

NOW WATCH: Chinese hackers explained in two minutes

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