'Ashley Madison' Hack: Suicides Occur; Cheating Site Offering $500K Reward for Hackers’ Info
Aug 25, 2015 08:10 PM EDT | By Althea Serad
Days following the release of the Ashley Madison hack list on Twitter, two individuals linked with customer details have reportedly taken their lives, according to Canada police. Police in Toronto have given no further information on the suicides.
Not only were personal information of private individuals released with the Ashley Madison hack, the attack on the extramarital cheating website sparked a flurry of extortion attempts. Toronto police are now warning the public of a possible ripple effect, with scammers targeting those who are desperate to stop their infidelities from getting exposed.
Canadian parent company of the website Ashley Madison, Avid Life Media, is now attempting to track the hackers who released private information on 33 million Ashley Madison customers. At a press conference, Avid Life announced that they are offering a C$500,000 reward to anyone with information that would lead to the arrest of the hackers.
At the press conference, Avid Life addressed the hackers, who named themselves as The Impact Team.
"I want to make it very clear to you your actions are illegal and we will not be tolerating them. This is your wake-up call," said Bryce Evans, acting staff superintendent of the Toronto police.
Evans confirmed that the original data dump by the hackers included credit card data of Ashley Madison users. Investigators believe that credit card data include the last four digits of the main card's number.
Evans also said that the Ashley Madison hack has already resulted in a series of "spin-offs of crimes and further victimization."
"Criminals have already engaged in online scams by claiming to provide access to the leaked database [of user information]," he added. "The public needs to be aware that by clicking on these links you are exposing your computers to malware, spyware, adware and viruses."
On July 12, Evans and Avid Life was first made aware of the breach, after several employees opened their computers and finding a message from the hackers along with AC/DC's song "Thunderstruck." Avid Life reported the hack to police several days later. Meanwhile, the hackers went public July 20.
Police are now advising Ashley Madison hack victims to review their accounts.
The information breach is called "very sophisticated" by Detective Menard from Toronto Police's technological crime unit.
Police are currently seeking help and information from wider hacker community members.
Australian authorities are also providing aid with the investigation on the Ashley Madison hack, according to ABC.
Other organizations who have joined in on the investigation are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, US Homeland Security and even the American FBI. They have dubbed their search "Project Unicorn".