Ashley Madison

The infidelity website was hacked by a group called Impact Team. (Google Images)

By Patrick McGreevy and Abby Sewell
August 21, 2015

Anxiety was high Friday in state, county and city offices after hackers released lists of dozens of government email addresses in California that were used to access the Ashley Madison online dating site for married people.

Los Angeles County officials launched an investigation after 19 county email addresses were found on the list. Officials in Sacramento warned state workers of possible consequences after nearly 50 state government email addresses were also included.

“Any misuse of state resources is a concern and is taken seriously and investigated accordingly,” said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for the state Government Operations Agency.

The website, whose advertising line is, “Life is short. Have an affair,” was hacked by a group called Impact Team. Earlier this week, it exposed the names, email addresses, credit card numbers and sexual preferences of up to 37 million users of the site.

Nearly 100 of the email addresses had the extension cal.gov, which is used by state agencies and some cities and other government agencies. A Times review found that many of the email addresses were not valid, but many others were working addresses attached to real government employees.

Experts cautioned that some users of the free Ashley Madison site may have done so with other people’s email addresses; the website did not require verification.

Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority have begun separate reviews of whether any of their employees used government emails to access the site, officials said Friday.

The database released by the hackers contained dozens of city, county and other local government email addresses, although it was not clear how many government employees had actually used work emails to log onto the site.

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