Two unconfirmed suicides have been reported following the hacking of the Ashley Madison website, Toronto Police said Monday. The police further said that the hackers’ actions “won’t be tolerated.” Will there be more?
At a news conference, Staff Supt. Bryce Evans said, “This hack is one of the largest data breaches in the world.”
In the breach of last month, more than 30 million email addresses and some credit card information were exposed, as reported by CBC News.
“Your actions are illegal and won’t be tolerated,” Evans said.
Canada’s privacy commissioner is also investigating the hack.
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‘Impact Team has crossed the line’
A C$500,000 ($379,132) reward is on offer by Avid Life Media Inc, parent company of the website, to catch those responsible.
“To the hacking community who engage in discussions on the dark web and who no doubt have information that could assist this investigation, we’re also appealing to you to do the right thing,” Evans said. “You know the Impact Team has crossed the line. Do the right thing and reach out to us.”
The details of the unconfirmed suicides, including where they have occurred, have not been released by the police. The breach has also caused hate crimes.
“The social impact behind this (hacking) – we’re talking about families. We’re talking about their children, we’re talking about their wives, we’re talking about their male partners,” Evans said.
“It’s going to have impacts on their lives. We’re now going to have hate crimes that are a result of this. There are so many things that are happening. The reality is … this is not the fun and games that has been portrayed.”
The breach has expanded to include international law enforcement, as reported by Yahoo News. The US Department of Homeland Security also joined the investigation last week. In addition, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Canadian federal and provincial police will also be lending a hand in the investigation.
What the users are going through is ‘no joke’
The nature of the Ashley Madison website – whose catchphrase says, “Life is short. Have an affair” – has led to the case receiving “enormous” attention, Evans said. Investigators are not considering the nature of the website.
What the website’s users are going through is “no joke,” Evans said.
“White hat hackers” and the tech community are being urged to step forward and provide any information they might have on the Impact Team.
The hack first saw the day of light on July 12 when the employees of Avid Life Media opened their computer systems and saw a threatening message of their screens with AC/DC’s Thunderstruck playing in the background.
The hackers called for the company to take down the Ashley Madison website, along with another site called Established Men. After the company refused to comply with the hacking group’s threat, data revealing clients’ names was dumped by the hacking group.
The hack was accompanied with a message that said, “time’s up.”
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