Days after hackers released millions of e-mail addresses connected with a website designed to facilitate extramarital affairs, reports have surfaced that some accounts were created using Vatican-affiliated e-mail addresses.
The Catholic Herald reported Thursday that at least two dozen people with the .va address are among those who had signed up “to meet married people for liaisons.”
Meanwhile, news.com.au, a News Corp website in Australia, reported that 91 users registered with Ashley Madison using an e-mail address containing the domain catholic.edu.au. The site said 32 of those addresses had been confirmed as legitimate, but did not say who did the verification.
The details of more than 30 million Ashley Madison profiles were published by hackers on the Web earlier this week, sending reporters — and presumably cheating husbands — scrambling to see which e-mail addresses are included in the massive data breach.
Ashley Madison has said that the site did not require e-mail authentication, which means many are fake. Barack Obama, for example, has several phony profiles on the site.
But security experts have confirmed some e-mail addresses by analyzing IP addresses.
For example, hundreds of US government employees — including some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress, and law enforcement agencies — used Internet connections in their federal offices to access and pay membership fees to the cheating website Ashley Madison, The Associated Press reported earlier this week.
And at least one cheating spouse is owning up to having affairs after being accused of using the site.
Former reality television personality Josh Duggar, an evangelical Christian, released a statement saying, “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.”
He continued, “I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”