McAfee said that files found in the leaked database contain some peculiarities that he wouldn’t expect a hacker to normally know.
“The data contains actual MySQL database dumps. This is not just someone copying a table and making it into a .csv file,” he said.
The hack contains a lot of insider information, including employee stock options, the layout of the Ashley Madison offices, and the source code of every program ever written by the company’s employees.
McAfee says statements made by the alleged hackers seem to be hostile towards certain employees, like the company’s VP of Information Technology, and favourable towards others.
McAfee claims the attacker is a woman because of the insults used.
“The more telling was a statement calling men ‘scumbags’. I think in any language this would suggest that a woman is speaking.”
The hacker’s first manifesto used the term “spiteful” in reference to joining Ashley Madison after Valentine’s Day. Men have trouble even remembering Valentine’s Day exists, so the attacker must be a woman, McAfee reasons.