Hack on cheating site Ashley Madison may be connected to suicides
TORONTO — The company behind the adultery website Ashley Madison is offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a group that hacked the site.
Hackers last week released detailed records on millions of people registered with the website, one month after a break-in at Ashley Madison’s parent company, Toronto-based Avid Life Media Inc. The website, whose slogan is, “Life is short. Have an affair,” is marketed to facilitate extramarital affairs.
Toronto Police announced the reward Monday at a news conference.
The hackers who took credit for the break-in have accused the website’s owners of deceit and incompetence and said the company refused to bow to their demands to close the site.
Meanwhile, Canadian police also say there are unconfirmed reports of two suicides following the hacking of the cheating website Ashley Madison.
“The ripple effect…will continue to have a long-term social and economic impact,” Toronto police official Bryce Evans said. “And they have already sparked spinoffs of crimes and further victimization.”
In the United States, a San Antonio police chief ended his life days after his information was exposed.
CNNMoney has confirmed that his information was exposed as part of the data breach. However, there was not a credit card linked to either of his two accounts.
“Neither account has credit card info, so my guess is that he was just curious and not a real user,” said Robert Graham, a security researcher who has been analyzing the data leak.
The San Antonio Police Department confirmed the death but would not comment on whether it was linked to the leak.
Police are also investigating extortion crimes.