The official Knesset email address of Joint List MK Taleb Abu Ararwas found to have registered for Ashley Madison, a dating website for people who want to cheat on their spouses, when hackers released about 36 million members’ email addresses.
According to the hack, Abu Arar not only registered for the infidelity site, he confirmed his email address. That extra step is not necessary in order to join Ashley Madison, but the hack indicates that 24 million of the email addresses released were confirmed.
Abu Arar denied having any connection to the website and said he plans to file a complaint to the police.
Reminder: MK Arar defends polygamy, says it's better than divorce
“Someone signed up with my email address in order to sully my good name,” he said, calling for Ashley Madison to reveal the source of the registration.
Knesset email addresses can be accessed by lawmakers and their aides on the Knesset’s secure computers, or via an encrypted connection from computers outside the Knesset, and with a code on the MKs’ and aides’ phones.
Unlike the average hacked Ashley Madison user, Abu Arar will have to explain his presence on the infidelity site to not one wife, but two. The second wife is by a common-law marriage, in order not to break the law against bigamy. Abu Arar, who is Beduin, has a combined 10 children from both of them.
Last month, in an interview with the Knesset Channel, Abu Arar said Beduin men have multiple wives “when needed,” and posited that it is better that he continue being married to his first wife after marrying his second one, than divorcing the first and making her unhappy.
When asked if having a second wife doesn’t make the first wife unhappy, Abu Arar said, “Maybe less.”
“So you’re saying she agreed to it?” the interviewer, Nechama Duek asked.
“Not necessarily,” he responded, before stating that Jews had polygamy. Duek said that Judaism prohibited polygamy in the 11th century.
“It is known that there are women who are harmed by polygamy, when the man neglects the first wife, but I’m not neglectful,” Abu Arar added.
Abu Arar was originally found in the hacker’s released list by Dan, a blogger for the pro-Israel site Isreallycool.com
, who did not give his last name.
The MK’s email address was one of some 50 .gov.il addresses that appeared in the database, which included listings from the hospitals and the Health Ministry, courts, the Justice Ministry, the Tel Aviv Municipality, and even the Defense Ministry.
MK Taleb Abu Arrar
Because Ashley Madison does not require users to verify their emails, none of the addresses in the database has been authenticated. For example, there were multiple entries for president@ whitehouse.gov
and even a email@example.com
among the addresses people used to log in. Another address hinted at former UK prime minister Tony Blair.
The list of apparently real names from the bowels of the US government, including institutions such as the Senate, the House of Representatives and the State Department, seemed to mirror that of the Israeli government addresses, and may yet cause aspiring politicians grief further down the road.
The hackers, calling themselves the Impact Team, announced that they had breached the website’s database in July, and demanded that it halt its operations on threat of releasing the data. Ashley Madison made users pay a $29 fee to fully delete all their history, but the Impact Team said that the site had not followed through, and kept data on hand.
“Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data,” the hackers wrote alongside a bit torrent link to 10 gigabytes worth of data, including email addresses and credit card transactions.
They took a blasé approach toward the reputations of those whose data they were exposing.
“Find yourself in here? It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you’ll get over it,” they wrote.
Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison and its sister sites, denounced the hackers as criminals, and promised to pursue legal action should its ongoing investigation yield results.
“The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society. We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world,” the company wrote in a statement.
Ashley Madison launched in Israel in May. By August, it was one of the top 10 apps on the Israeli iTunes store, the com - pany said, adding that it was more popular in Israel than in any of the other 40 countries in which it operated at the time. By June, there were 320,000 active members here.