WASHINGTON: Hackers released what was purported to be a second batch of data from the affair-seeker website Ashley Madison, a report said Thursday.
Coming two days after the release of some 32 million emails and user account information, the second leak appeared to contain internal company files and emails, according to a report by Vice Media's website Motherboard.
Motherboard reported that the data file posted on a dark Web site was 20 gigabytes, or twice as large as the file released on Tuesday.
The file contained a message that appeared to be directed at the chief executive of Ashley Madison parent Avid Life Media, Noel Biderman, who at one point cast doubt on the credibility of the first data leak.
"Hey Noel, you can admit it's real now," the message said.
A screenshot of the data file was posted on Motherboard and on the Wired magazine website.
Motherboard said the full contents of the second batch of data were not known, but that it appeared to contain emails and other internal corporate information.
Security experts said the files in the first document dump appeared to be genuine, and the data dump already appeared to lead to embarrassing and potentially calamitous consequences.
US television personality Josh Duggar, known as a family values activist, acknowledged he had used Ashley Madison after being outed by the news website Gawker.
"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife," said a statement from Duggar, a former head of the Family Research Council lobby group.
"I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time."
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the Pentagon was looking into whether members of the US military were on the site, since adultery may be prosecuted in the armed forces.
"I'm aware of it -- of course it's an issue because conduct is very important," Carter said in response to a question at a Pentagon briefing.
"And we expect good conduct on the part of our people. And to the last part, yes. The services are looking into it and as well they should be."
The release of files by the hackers came a month after the data was stolen by hackers identified as the "Impact Team," who said they were trying to shut down the site for cheaters.
Ashley Madison is known for its slogan "Life is short. Have an affair."
It helps connect people seeking to have extramarital relationships and is owned by Toronto-based Avid Life Media.