Executives at Ashley Madison may have lost their founder and CEO after suffering a breach that leaked highly personal details for more than 30 million users, but they want to make one thing clear: business fundamentals are strong, and the service for people seeking discreet encounters won't go gently into that good night.
"Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated," the remaining executives wrote in a statement issued early Monday morning. "The company continues its day-to-day operations even as it deals with the theft of its private data by criminal hackers. Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing." The statement went on to say that the company acquired "hundreds of thousands of new users"—including 87,596 women—although Ars has no way of confirming any of the numbers provided.
Monday's statement also challenged media reports claiming that an infinitesimal percentage of Ashley Madison users were real women and that the rest were either men or bogus female accounts manufactured by Ashley Madison employees in an attempt to lure men. Women sent in excess of 2.8 million messages on the Ashley Madison platform last week alone, company executives said, even as the company provided no details on how many messages were sent from male accounts and made no assurances that the female messages weren't generated by automated scripts.
Details like those don't seem to matter. Ashley Madison executives are in survival mode. According to the Reuters news service, they were already searching for a buyer in the months leading up to the attack. It's hard to imagine a site that guaranteed 30 million members 100-percent discretion surviving such a breathtaking public breach. But that's just how the executives see it. And since we're on the outside looking in, there's no way to dispute or confirm the claims.
Here's the statement in its entirety:
STATEMENT FROM AVID LIFE MEDIA, MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2015
Toronto, ON, August 31, 2015 – Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated. The company continues its day-to-day operations even as it deals with the theft of its private data by criminal hackers. Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing. This past week alone, hundreds of thousands of new users signed up for the Ashley Madison platform – including 87,596 women.
Some journalists have turned the focus of the criminal act against Ashley Madison inside out, attacking us instead of the hackers. Last week, a reporter who claimed to analyze the stolen data made incorrect assumptions about the meaning of fields contained in the leaked data. This reporter concluded that the number of active female members on Ashley Madison could be calculated based on those assumptions. That conclusion was wrong.
Last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform. Furthermore, in the first half of this year the ratio of male members who paid to communicate with women on our service versus the number of female members who actively used their account (female members are not required to pay to communicate with men on Ashley Madison) was 1.2 to 1. These numbers are the main reason that Ashley Madison is the number one service for people seeking discrete relationships.
We have customers in nearly every zip code in the United States, as well as users in more than 50 countries around the world. The Ashley Madison app is the 14th highest grossing app1 in the USA social networking category in the Apple App Store. Approximately 70 percent of our revenue on any given day is from members making repeat purchases. We think that shows happy customers on a consistent basis.
Ashley Madison is the number one service for real people seeking discreet encounters. We invite everyone to visit our website or our app and make up their own mind.
1As of August 29, 2015
This post originated on Ars Technica