Mental health concerns for exposed Ashley Madison users
WASHINGTON - The list of Ashley Madison users being exposed is growing fast.
From school principals to state prosecutors and now this -- all the names, addresses and email addresses of Ashley Madison users in Fairfax County were posted to a public message board early Thursday morning.
"My advice to people who have been users in the past and have been exposed is to really watch out for certain very natural symptoms of psychopathology that they may be experiencing right now," said psychiatrist Jay Singh.
Social anxiety, depression and insomnia to name a few, Singh says.
"Access to mental health care right now is a critical thing and making sure not to lose sight of self-care in terms of self-hygiene, such as eating well, dieting and exercise," he said. "These things are very critical in a time like this."
"They should have protected themselves," said internet technology security expert Kurt Cathcart. "Everything is all about creating policy for your corporation, so who has access to what, and if you don't restrict that or you don't restrict that properly, you're exposing yourself for an attack whether it's internal or external."
Cathcart would know. He spent decades as a "white hat hacker." That means companies hired him to break into their computer systems and expose vulnerabilities.
"It used to be years ago until foreign entities started stealing credit cards and all, it used to be that the majority of your attacks or data loss came from internal sources and that's what happened to Ashley Madison," said Cathcart.
"When I hear about these hacks, they're usually through third parties," said Katelyn Cathcart, Kurt's daughter.
The massive Ashley Madison leak exposes private details of paid users on the website, a site which arranges affairs between married men and women.
"Right now, something that is very important is waiting for the dust to clear," said Singh. "This is a time period, a transitional period that's going to be full of emotion, that's going to be full of feelings of anger, jealousy, tremendous frustration and a great amount of shame and embarrassment regardless of which side of the coin you're on."
He said area divorce lawyers have already started contacting him on the heels of the Ashley Madison scandal.
Singh said the most popular sign-up days for Ashley Madison's male users is the day after Father's Day and the day after Mother's Day.