It seems that Noel Biderman–the self-described “King of Infidelity/Most Hated Man on the Internet” and current victim of the worst corporate hack in history–once got his PR firm to pitch him as an expert on cyber security matters.
When news of the hack threat broke, blogger and “tech evangelist” Robert Scoble shared this 2014 pitch email casting Biderman as a source who would tell journalists why “online companies need to take every measure to ensure the security of their customer’s data.”
Unfortunately for Biderman, that last line included a typo–the Ashley Madison data dump involves personal information from millions of would-be cheaters, many of whom happen to use .gov email addresses.
Interestingly, the internal docs included in this week’s dump also reveal that Biderman had some doubts about his own “expert” status. In June, he wrote:
“An insider data breach would be very harmful. Have we done good enough a job vetting everyone, are we on top of it.”
The answer to that question would be “hell no,” as if we needed further proof that so many self-professed experts are anything but.
So far, Ashley Madison’s response to the latest development in its hacking drama is a Krebs on Security interview with CTO Raja Bhatia, who argued that there’s no proof the data is real before “three vouched sources” told Brian Krebs that their credit card numbers are on the list.
Note that Teena Touch, the Ogilvy/Bender-Helper/Blanc & Otis veteran who pitched Biderman last year, does not include Ashley Madison in a list of current and former clients.
What a great business. What a great guy.