Decryption of personal data dumped by the hackers of cheating website Ashley Madison has exposed email addresses belonging to UK government workers, US military and even the White House.
Ashley Madison hackers, known as the Impact Team, released personal details of nearly 37 million users of the infidelity site on the dark web, a month after they threatened to expose the details of the site's customers.
The data can be accessed only through a specialised browser but thousands of email addresses were exposed within hours as people decrypted the data.
Hackers who had broken into the Ashley Madison website last month published details of up to 10 GB on Tuesday, with many of the email IDs linked to the United Nations and even the Vatican, as per reports.
Ashley Madison is a popular dating website that promotes extra-marital affairs, with the slogan reading 'Life is Short. Have an affair'.
As many as 15,000 US military and government email addresses as well as more than 100 UK government address are part of the leaked data, some reports say.
Some leaked email IDs are even linked to the White House and Nasa, Sky News reported.
However, experts have warned that not all the email addresses leaked from the Ashley Madison hack were genuine.
Ashley Madison reportedly does not use email verification and also gives scope for someone to use a different email address belonging to another person, according to The Independent.
Apart from email addresses, the hackers also leaked names, phone numbers and even some credit card details of the users of the adultery website.
The hackers' group, known as Impact Team, had warned after last month's hack that they would make public all the personal data unless Avid Life Media (ALM), which runs the Ashley Madison site, takes it down, along with its other dating site Established Men.
On Tuesday, the group posted the message 'Time's Up', along with a statement that read - 'Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data'.
They released the data on the Dark Web, which requires the TOR Internet browser to access it.
ALM called the leak a criminal act, but has not confirmed if the leaked data is genuine.
"This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities," the company said in a statement.