Ash­ley Madi­son hack might have led to sui­cides, say Canada po­lice


The hack of the cheat­ing web­site Ash­ley Madi­son has trig­gered ex­tor­tion crimes and led to two un­con­firmed re­ports of sui­cides, Cana­dian po­lice said Mon­day.

The com­pany be­hind Ashl ey Madi­son is of­fer­ing a CA$ 500,000 ( US$ 378,000) re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of mem­bers of a group that hacked the site.

Hack­ers last week re­leased de­tailed records on mil­lions of peo­ple reg­is­tered with the web­site, a 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 act­ing staffSupt. Bryce Evans said the hack is hav­ing an “enor­mous so­cial and eco­nomic fall­out.”

“This hack is one of the largest data breaches in the world,” Evans said. “This is af­fect­ing all of us. The so­cial im­pact be­hind this leak, we’re talk­ing about fam­i­lies, we’re talk­ing about chil­dren, we’re talk­ing about wives, their male part­ners.”

The hack­ers who took re­spon­si­bil­ity for the break-in had ac­cused the web­site’s own­ers of de­ceit and in­com­pe­tence, and said the com­pany re­fused to bow to their de­mands to close the site. The hack­ers re­ferred to them­selves as the Im­pact Team.

Evans said the hack­ers re­leased the en­tire Ash­ley Madi­son client list, which claims more than 30 mil­lion users world­wide. He said the hack­ers also sent a taunt­ing mes­sage to the com­pany CEO and re­leased his emails.

Evans said there are con­firmed cases of crim­i­nals at­tempt­ing to ex­tort Ash­ley Madi­son clients by threat­en­ing to ex­pose them un­less pay­ment is re­ceived.

The po­lice of­fi­cial did not of­fer fur­ther de­tails of the un­con­firmed sui­cides. He also said hate crimes may be con­nected to the hack but did not pro­vide de­tails.

Evans ad­dressed the hack­ers di­rectly, say­ing their ac­tions are “illegal and will not be tol­er­ated.”

“This is your wake-up call,” he said.

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