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Claiming that its security had always been weak, the hackers claimed to have stolen personal information about the site's user base, and threatened to release names, home addresses, search histories and credit card numbers if the site was not immediately shut down.
The demand was driven by the site's policy of not deleting users' personal information following their invoiced requests.
By July 22, the first set of customer names were released by hackers, with all of the user data released on August 18, 2015.
In the same month, the company changed its signature tagline from "Life is Short.
Have an Affair." to "Find your moment," and updated its brand imagery to replace the image of a woman wearing a wedding ring with a red gem-shaped symbol as its logo.
Compounding the problem is that "more men than women use the service, with the disparity increasing as they advance in age", and "Men seek sex, while women seek passion." A page on Ashley Madison, entitled "Is Ashley Madison a scam? " addressed some of these issues in an attempt to win over prospective customers and teach them best practices for using the site.
Ashley Madison had over 70,000 bots sending fake female messages to male users.