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MK’s official email listed in Ashley Madison website leak

Joint (Arab) List MK Taleb Abu Arar denies registering on marital affair website, says his work account was signed up to besmirch him

Ashley Madison website logo
Ashley Madison website logo

An Arab member of Knesset was seemingly caught using marital affair service Ashley Madison, after his official Parliamentary email address was among the 32 million users of the cheaters’ website whose information was stolen and released online Wednesday.

Joint List MK Taleb Abu Arar’s Knesset email, tabuarar@knesset.gov.il, was confirmed as a registered user on the Ashley Madison website, and according to a database listing what was in the dump, “the email address was confirmed by the account owner.”

Ashley Madison’s website is known for its slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.” It helps connect people seeking to have an extramarital relationship and is owned by company Avid Life Media.

Abu Arar, a Bedouin politician who holds polygamist views, denied any connection to the website, telling Channel 2 that he’d filed a complaint with the police because someone hacked his email address.

MK Taleb Abu Arar demonstrates across from the president's residence, Jerusalem, March 29, 2015 (photo credit: Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)
MK Taleb Abu Arar (photo credit: Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)

He said the hacker “signed up my email in order to damage my good name, and a complaint has been filed against the site, and the site which exposed the source of the registration.”

Other Israeli email addresses were also exposed in the leak.

The data dump Tuesday on what the website Wired described as the “dark web” included millions of payment transactions, email addresses and phone numbers of people who were registered on the dating site.

The release comes about a month after the data was stolen by hackers identified as the “Impact Team” who allegedly tried to shut the site for cheaters down “immediately permanently.”

The group threatened to release customers’ records, nude pictures and conversations if the site wasn’t closed.

The hacker team appeared to follow through on its threat with a 9.7 gigabyte dump, Wired reported.

“We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM (Avid Life Media) and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data,” the group reportedly wrote in its data dump Tuesday.

“I’m looking for someone who isn’t happy at home or just bored and looking for some excitement,” said one user in the data, Wired reported, while noting some 15,000 users in the data included government or military email addresses.

The Ashley Madison site was founded in 2001 by Noel Biderman, a member of Toronto’s Jewish community.

Avid Life Media, based in Toronto, condemned the initial hack, calling it a “criminal intrusion.”

The company spoke out again Tuesday saying the release of data was an illegal action against the members of the website, Wired reported.

Ashley Madison was temporarily blocked in South Korea by the country’s communications commission, but it returned with a surge of users this year.

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